On this day 17 years ago, Padres general manager Kevin Towers made one of his patented seemingly inconsequential trades which would gain significance with the passage of time, acquiring utility man Phil Nevin and minor league pitcher Keith Volkman from the Angels for infielder Andy Sheets and minor league outfielder Gus Kennedy. This swap proved to be a definite win for the Friars, as Sheets hit below the Mendoza line in a part-time role for the Halos while Nevin stepped right into San Diego's starting lineup and stayed there for over six seasons, leaving his name scattered all over the franchise's offensive leaderboards.
Nevin, who had bounced from Houston to Detroit and then Anaheim since the Astros made him the first pick of the 1992 draft, was used as something of a Swiss Army knife by manager Bruce Bochy in 1999, his fifth season in the majors and his first with over 100 games played. Nevin got the lion's share of starts at the third base spot vacated by Ken Caminiti, and was also behind the plate for 31 games, in the outfield for 13, and at first base for 11. His strong offensive showing - his 24 home runs eclipsed his previous best by 15 - earned him the full time third base job in 2000. He played there exclusively that season and the next, which saw him hit a career-high 41 homers and make the All-Star team. From there he transitioned to first base, continuing to put up strong offensive numbers through 2004. He faltered in 2005 and, after exercising his no-trade clause numerous times, was sent to Texas for Chan Ho Park.
In less than seven seasons in various Padres uniforms, Nevin accrued the tenth most plate appearances and at-bats in franchise history, and ranks eighth in both hits and doubles. His 156 home runs are good for third, just seven fewer than leader Nate Colbert's 163, and he is also third in RBI, with 573.