NEW YORK — Bartolo Colon got traded Wednesday, but not to the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees.
Instead, Colon went to the Chicago White Sox in a three-team deal that included the Yankees and provided New York with the fringe benefit of keeping Colon away from the Red Sox.
In the three-way swap, the Yankees sent pitcher Orlando Hernandez and $2 million to Chicago for reliever Antonio Osuna and minor league pitcher Delvis Lantigua. Then the White Sox packaged Hernandez with right-handed pitcher Rocky Biddle, outfielder Jeff Liefer and cash to Montreal for Colon and minor league infielder Jorge Nunez.
The Expos will be responsible only for $300,000 of Hernandez’s salary next season, with the White Sox using the $2 million from the Yankees and their own money to make up the difference. Hernandez is expected to make between $4-5 million.
The architect of the deal was White Sox general manager Ken Williams, who pursued Montreal GM Omar Minaya once it became clear that the Expos would be trading either Colon or pitcher Javier Vazquez to reduce payroll.
“Early on, I was probably the most aggressive guy,” Williams said. “As soon as the end of the season hit, I was trying to launch a pre-emptive strike in that direction. You kind of selectively pick and choose your spots. You don’t want to go away and allow this thing to develop.
“You kind of go in and out of this situation. Really, there were so many twists and turns to how this evolved. If I were to make a chart, it would probably look more like a chart of my stocks than anything.”