Blogs and Commentary

posted 05.17.2012 at 10.00 a.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Lizards Trade Polanco to Chesapeake; Costabile Involved in Swap

updated: 05.17.2012 at 11.07 a.m.

Major League Lacrosse's Long Island Lizards have agreed to trade perennial all-star defenseman Nicky Polanco to the Chesapeake Bayhawks in a deal that gives Long Island the draft rights to Duke long-stick midfielder and Tewaaraton Award finalist CJ Costabile, according to league sources.

The Bayhawks confirmed the trade Thursday morning, which sends Polanco, a second-round collegiate draft pick in 2013 and a second-rounder in 2014 to Chesapeake for the draft rights to Costabile and a 2013 fifth-round pick.

"I'm very excited to be a Bayhawk," Polanco said in a press release. "I'm really looking forward to getting with the guys today. Long Island was great but I think it was time for me to move on. I think there's a time period for everything. My heart will always be in Long Island but again it was time for me to move on and be a part of the Bayhawks."

Polanco, a two-time MLL defensive player of the year, hadn't played the first two games of the 2012 season for the Lizards and the team has sought to trade him. He will be re-united with former defensive running buddy Brian Spallina, whom the Bayhawks acquired in the offseason.

“It was definitely an added bonus to have Brian on the team,” Polanco said. “Brian is like a brother to me. I treat him like he is a brother and it’s been an honor and a pleasure to be playing with him for most of my career, but I think we pretty much moved on for the same reasons. It’s not the ultimate reason why I wanted to go [to Chesapeake], but that’s the place where I wanted to be. I really respect Coach Cottle, his staff and the organization as a whole. I’ve always respected the Bayhawks. That’s why I wanted to go there.”

Chesapeake picked Costabile with the fifth overall selection in January's collegiate draft.

The move continues a stretch of transactions for Long Island, which has started the season 0-2 with losses to Chesapeake and Denver. This weekend, the Lizards face Charlotte, the team to which they traded all-stars Matt Danowski and Stephen Berger in a expansion draft day deal that gave Long Island the top overall pick (Rob Pannell). Pannell's status remains in question after a broken foot caused him to miss most of the 2012 college season.

Chesapeake plays a rare Friday morning game at the Hamilton Nationals at 11 a.m., and Polanco will suit up.

"I feel like I'm a rookie again; I feel like I'm alive again," Polanco said. "I'm so excited. I feel like tomorrow is going to be the first game of my career. I couldn't sleep last night just thinking about everything. I've been hoping that this was going to happen. I'm really excited to be part of a new organization and a new family so to speak."

Polanco has played in the MLL since 2002, starting his career with the Barrage and then moving to the Lizards in 2005. Throughout his career Polanco has played in 102 games and he has recorded 365 ground balls and 72 penalty minutes.

"We are excited to get a perennial All-Star to play for the Chesapeake Bayhawks," Bayhawks head coach Dave Cottle said. "His leadership, passion, and ability to be a great teammate were added factors in this decision. We were able to get a player to help our team now as well as more picks to build our team for the future. As of right now we have one 1st, one 2nd, two 3rd, and two 4th round picks in the 2013 Collegiate Draft. We have the ability to pick up six of the top 32 players coming out of college next year. This helps us win now and in the future."