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Monday, July 31, 2017

No trades during the season! And a no trade clause as part of the standard contract.

Jaime Garcia:
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Left • Throws: Left
Born: July 8, 1986 (Age: 31 and 23 days)
Debut: July 11, 2008
Career: 1,015 innings, 166 starts, 67-52, ERA+ 107

June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 30th round of the 2004 amateur draft, but did not sign.
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2005 amateur draft. Player signed July 16, 2005.
December 1, 2016: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Atlanta Braves for Luke Dykstra (minors), Chris Ellis (minors) and John Gant.
July 24, 2017: Traded by the Atlanta Braves with Anthony Recker and cash to the Minnesota Twins for Huascar Ynoa (minors).
July 30, 2017: Traded by the Minnesota Twins to the New York Yankees for Dietrich Enns (minors) and Zack Littell (minors).

Garcia will be a free agent after the 2017 season. That's why the Cardinals traded him between the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The Twins traded for Garcia because five days earlier they beat the Yankees making the Twins record 48-46 and only a half game behind first place Cleveland.

The Twins traded Garcia only six days after acquiring him because their record had fallen to 50-53, seven games out of first place. The Twins went from buyers to sellers in less than a week.

What the heck?

Constitutional amendments for team sports. Friday, June 8, 2012

Team sports really means baseball, football and basketball, the only sports that count...

3. No trades during the season.

I'm a Yankee fan but when Garcia was just traded to the Yankees I thought: who? Even after looking him up I still have no recollection of this guy. Why should I care? And the Yankees are still trying to trade for yet another starting pitcher, Sonny Gray, who has spent his entire career with Oakland but is now expendable in the wacky world of major league trading during the season with a bit more than one third of the season remaining. Gray is still only 27.

Career: 705 innings, 112 starts, 44-36, ERA+ 114.

Here is the problem that Oakland has with Sonny Gray:
YearAgeTmSalarySrvTmSourcesNotes/Other Sources
201424Oakland Athletics$502,5000.061contracts
201525Oakland Athletics$512,5001.061contracts
201626Oakland Athletics$527,5002.061
201727Oakland Athletics$3,575,0003.061
2017 StatusSigned thru 2017Earliest Arb Eligible: 2018, Earliest Free Agent: 2020

Yes, Oakland doesn't want to pay Sonny Gray, one of their own, so they will probably ship him away.

But pay isn't the only dynamic in this wacky world. Consider the rebuilding Chicago White Sox, who traded TWO lefty starting pitchers, both of whom are in their late 20s and were under club control at reasonable salaries relative to their value:

Chris Sale:
December 6, 2016: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox for Luis Alexander Basabe (minors), Victor Diaz (minors), Michael Kopech (minors) and Yoan Moncada.

Jose Quintana:
July 13, 2017: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Chicago Cubs for Dylan Cease (minors), Bryant Flete (minors), Eloy Jimenez (minors) and Matt Rose (minors).

But, hey, those are the White Sox. Let's get back to the Yankees. One year ago the Yankees tanked and traded talent rather than add talent as they are doing now. The Yankees got a pass from both the media and their fans because it was presented as a youth movement and two players whom the Yankees ALREADY had were called up and performed spectacularly: catcher Gary Sanchez in late 2016 and Aaron Judge in 2017.

The Yankees have been hot and are now in first place. But how good could their starting pitching be if they just traded for one, Garcia, and are supposedly in negotiations for another, Sonny Gray? Oh, and lest we forget, the Yankees showed no interest during the off season in Chris Sale, even though it was obvious that their arch rival, the Boston Red Sox, were interested and eventually traded for Sale.

And another lest we forget: the aforementioned White Sox lefty starter Jose Quintana:
March 10, 2008: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
November 6, 2010: Granted Free Agency.
December 15, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
November 2, 2011: Granted Free Agency.
November 9, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.

Yes, Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman released Quintana TWICE! Quintana never pitched an inning for the Yankees. Now Cashman is out there bargain hunting at the trading deadline acting like the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Yankees.

The actions of the teams in July has become largely random, disguised as clever maneuvering. Analysts are reduced to Las Vegas odds makers. And fans are cheering without reason.

The bottom lines:
- Trading players during the season undermines the most basic level of integrity of the game: the team is the team for that season. No do-overs during the season.
- Fan loyalty to a team is eroded so deeply that it drifts into the mentality of online betting on individual daily performance, supported by the Major League business partnership with the likes of Draftkings.

If the player's union had any sense, it would push for a no trade clause as part of the standard contract for individual players. Any trade would require the individual's consent. What player would not want that? And it would force the owners to act in the best interests of their own team and their own fans.


Michael Lynch said...

Their era from the starters is fourth in the Al, but obviously Pineda tj surgery creates a hole in addition to innings concerns over Severino and Montgomery and consistency from Tanaka. The need for trade for starting is far more than just how good the starting has been so far.

Kenneth Matinale said...

A starting pitcher goes down. Young starters have innings limits. What, Cashman didn't know this before the season, like when Chris Sale was available?

This is reaction, not planning. It's not a leader but a scared bureaucrat. Hal Steinbrenner should clean house, not extend Cashman after this his 20th season as GM. TWENTY. Who is that good? Certainly not Cashman.