I got a few minutes with Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer tonight and got these answers on the club’s trade today, sending designated player Freddie Ljungberg to Chicago for a conditional 2011 or 2012 SuperDraft pick.
Q: How is it possible that a player like Ljungberg would draw only a college player to be picked later?
A: The answer is probably multifaceted. One, you always want more in a trade than you get. Two, in trades you get in some range of what the market calls the value. The market dictated the value to some degree. Then the two biggest issues would probably be that Freddie has only a short period of time left on his contract. Prior to this deal being done there was not an extension done, which I assume makes the longevity somewhat risky on both sides. And then finally, there just aren’t that many teams quite frankly in our league that are either capable of taking on the salary on the cap or had appetite for taking on the salary aside from the cap – the cash out of pocket.
Q: If that’s all you could get for Ljungberg, why not keep him for the playoff drive? Was this addition by subtraction?
A: I am going to let you answer the is-it-addition-by-subtraction question. I am only willing to talk about the facts and how we got here which was at the beginning of the year Freddie wanted a new contract. We weren’t willing to do it. Then midseason came, he wanted a new contract, we weren’t willing to do it. He said, ‘Let me explore my options.’ (Add his) ankle injury in there, (which) separated him from the group. So then fast-forward: he’s training on his own and there are certainly distractions that had the potential to creep in. … Meanwhile, the team is playing pretty well and we are negotiation for Alvaro Fernandez, are able to do that deal, Freddie finds an opportunity. The market — just given the factors I explained – there just aren’t huge trades being made for even a player of Freddie’s quality. Then by sending Freddie we’re now able to put Alvaro on the roster and we have a 24-year-old, up-and-coming, versatile, fast, clean, good quality midfielder on the team.”