ANAHEIM, Calif. — Control.
It has been Jamie Moyer's signature on a major-league mound for 20 years, but it was a struggle at times on Saturday night the way his emotions mixed after agreeing to be traded from Seattle to Philadelphia.
"It saddens me we're leaving a place that we call home, and will continue to call home and we're proud to call home," Moyer said in a telephone interview. "It's really been a great situation, and nothing but positives.
"But on the flip side I have an opportunity to go to a team in contention for the last five weeks of the season, and hopefully beyond that."
The Mariners received starting pitcher Andy Baldwin and reliever Andrew Barb, two right-handed prospects at different levels of Class A in the Phillies' organization.
It is a move that has both Moyer's enthusiasm and required his blessing since his service time gave him the right to veto any deal. Moyer OK'd the deal, but that didn't mean it was easy. Excitement about joining the Phillies' playoff chase doesn't make exiting the Mariners painless.
Moyer called in for the postgame show on KOMO Radio (1000 AM) on Saturday night. At several points it sounded as if he choked up when he talked about coming home to attend a family event Saturday.
Moyer was scheduled to leave for Philadelphia on Sunday. He is expected to pitch for the Phillies on Tuesday.
As a player with 10 years in the majors and five with the same club, he had to agree to any trade. Last year, he vetoed a deal that would have sent him to the Astros because Houston was not willing to talk about any deal beyond the season.
This time, the Phillies and Moyer agreed to a mutual option for next season, and Moyer indicated that either side could pull out of the deal after the season if they so choose.
"The willingness this time [was] because the club I was dealing with was more apt to deal with me," Moyer said.
Moyer didn't ask to be traded, said Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi. It was the Phillies who first approached the Mariners about the deal, according to Moyer. Bavasi said Moyer spoke to Philadelphia GM Pat Gillick on Friday. Trade discussions proceeded rapidly on Saturday.
Moyer was born in Sellersville, Pa., and he idolized Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton growing up. He went to college at St. Joseph's in Philadelphia, where he was the first baseball player to have his number retired, and there will certainly be friends and family he sees upon his return.
But the geography was more coincidental than crucial to this deal, said Moyer. And while he looked forward to the final push of the Phillies' season, Moyer couldn't keep himself from stealing a few looks into the rearview mirror.
"They were 10 great years here in Seattle," Moyer said.
He threw the first pitch of the first real game at Safeco Field, and he was one of the last connections to the 2001 team that won 116 games. On Sunday, he left to join a new team, and while he is leaving the Mariners, he isn't leaving the city. At least not permanently.
"I'll be back here, hopefully after the World Series is over and we win it," Moyer said. "But this is home."