The Seattle Sounders traded forward/midfielder Lamar Neagle to D.C. United today, after declining their options on nine veteran players last week.
General manager Garth Lagerwey talked about the trade Monday while indicating that the club might not be acquiring players anytime soon through any of the available or soon-to-be available methods: trades, free agency, or the waiver draft and re-entry draft.
Here’s some of what Lagerwey had to say:
On if Neagle’s hometown status was cosidered) Lamar’s contributions to the club have been both on and off the field. It’s not just that he’s a local kid, but he’s done a tremendous amount of charity work and community work. Anytime you lose an asset like that from an organization it’s a big deal. So for sure it matters that he’s local. For sure those things are taken into account. But ultimately we have to do what we feel is best for our soccer team, and we feel like we got an amount of money back that was a good value for Lamar. Between the combination we got from clearing his salary and getting that further money as compensation, we felt that was a good healthy salary cap swing for us and one that we needed to make.
On if there in any message send after lack of Neagle/Barrett production) I’m not a big message-sending guy. I try to keep it not personal and emotional and just do what’s best. I think we need to have better depth at forward. We’ve invited Oalex Anderson into preseason. We have a couple of other possibilities. Do we have better performance from that segment of our roster? We do. But I actually think Lamar and Chad in particular are both really good pros, really good people. Don’t have a bad word to say about them. It’s not about sending a message to them or anybody else, other than, hey, we’re trying to make our team better and we have to consider all avenues to do that.
On when the club might add players) We have the waiver draft and the re-entry draft this week. I’m not sure if we’ll be active in either one of those. It’s possible you’ll see additions this calendar year, but more likely it’s probably January before the guys start trickling back onto the roster. We have 21 guys signed right now. I can’t rule out that we’d add somebody before the new year. But we feel like once you add a college draft pick, some of the other things we’re looking at, the roster’s going to get filled pretty quickly. We’re certainly not going to carry 32 guys again; it’s probably going to be more like 27-28, somewhere in that range. So it’s only five or six spots, and we already have publicly talked about camp invites out to Sergio Mota and Oalex Anderson and Ashani Fairclough. We’ve got our Vegas combine coming up next week, where we will look at some college prospects and some younger college players. There are a couple of different avenues, but I think that roster is going to get pretty crowded pretty quickly.
How about players coming through trade) I don’t think we’re going to trade for players. I don’t want to make a grand statement. In general, my philosophy is to acquire cash when possible. In my opinion, We will usually spend cash more efficiently for our team than picking up a player from another team. Don’t get me wrong. You get situations where there’s a really good fit and they outperform the value of their contract and all those kinds of things. But in general, I think you’ll see us do deals for cash. … Obviously we’ve moved some guys out and we’ve moved some salary off the books, but I feel like one thing that bears thinking about for our fan base is if you’re talking about Torres, Ivanschitz, Friberg and Valdez, all of those guys are significantly higher cap hits for a full season than for half a season. I think fans think we’re starting from zero, and we are not.