Paul gives you some advice on how to get trade negotiations going and cautions against actions that could stop them dead in their tracks.
As we approach June 1, trading is no doubt becoming a bigger part of league activity for the season. Two months have passed, allowing you to start assessing your team’s strengths and flaws, but injuries and, more than anything else, impatience often fuels trade talks. With that in mind, I wanted to offer up some tips to hopefully improve your trading experience when you start firing up talks.
Don’t tell the league to make you offers on your guys: If you are serious about improving your team via the trade, then sending a mass email with guys you’re willing to part with followed by a call to action for other owners to engage you for those players isn’t the way to go. Rarely do emails that announce the availability of a team’s best players make such an impact that other owners are compelled to do the legwork on a hypothetical deal.
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A look at the deals and non-deals made by the AL West front offices at the waiver deadline.
You know, for a division race that is supposed to be the most exciting one still going with major post-season implications attached (I don't count that back-and-forth affair between Boston and New York in the AL East, since both clubs are all but assured of playing on into October anyway), I'm not so sure the AL West's two-team battle is really living up to its top billing. The Rangers' division-winning chances have fluctuated within the 80-95 percent range for the better part of two months and still rest within close proximity of the 90 percent mark as of this morning, and Texas has spent 140 days in first place this season compared to just 25 days for Los Angeles. It does still fit within the parameters of what we would define as a legitimate playoff race, and both clubs have done their respective parts to ensure the Angels sticking around, but the "race" is beginning to feel a bit one-sided.
And on Wednesday, the final day where players could be traded and still retain post-season eligibility with their new clubs, the deepest and most talented team in the division continued to pile on the talent while the two cellar-dwellers pulled off a couple of largely inconsequential—but nevertheless interesting—deals, and the second-running Angels did nothing ... again. Running concurrent to those waiver-period trade storylines are a few different chunks of news and speculation relating to the front offices of each AL West club, and so it strikes me that this might be a good opportunity to juxtapose the trade storylines alongside those front-office storylines, and see what comes of the whole process.
Derek examines the differences between mixed leagues and AL/NL-only leagues through the lens of expert leagues Tout Wars, LABR, and CardRunners.
Over the past week, Jason Collette has been taking turns examining each of the three Tout Wars leagues: AL-only, NL-only, and mixed. Yesterday, he examined the mixed league, which I participate in. Unfortunately, I’m not having the best year, currently in 12th out of 15. Interestingly, though, I am third in two other high-profile expert leagues—LABR (the League of Alternate Baseball Reality) and CardRunners—priming myself for a run at the championship.
What I find particularly interesting is that LABR is an NL-only league and CardRunners is an AL-only league. Despite doing well in leagues that draw from either league pool, in the league that combines them, I’m flailing. I also struggled in Tout Mixed last year, finishing middle-of-the-pack, but I won a LABR NL championship the year before. What gives?
The Blue Jays' GM discusses his organizational philosophy, his love of scouting and how it plays a role in his work, and competing in the AL East.
He’s too humble to admit it, but Alex Anthopoulos has done an outstanding job since replacing J.P. Ricciardi as the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in October 2009. He has orchestrated high-impact trades, most notably deals involving Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells, as well as prudent, if not as newsworthy, free-agent signings. Just as importantly, he has been placing a huge emphasis on scouting and player development, which should come as no surprise given his background as a scouting coordinator. A 33-year-old native of Montreal, Anthopoulos has an economics degree from McMaster University.
A look at which players most fit the type who get dealt on or around July 31.
As non-waiver deadline time approaches at the end of each July, baseball observers divide teams into buyers and sellers, separating the soon-to-haves from the soon-to-have-nots. A few players from each team placed into the latter camp earn the dreaded “trade target” tag, dooming them to weeks of reading and hearing their names bandied about in various media by every rumormonger in the business, always unsure of where they’ll be playing their next game or spending their next night.
So how do we determine which players might be on the move when we construct our own hypothetical trade scenarios, or evaluate those concocted by others? Certain well-connected sources may get the choicest names straight from the horses’ mouths, but those of us with less enviable access resort to more conventional means of speculation, in addition to parroting the people with press credentials. Do we simply know trade bait when we see it, la Justice Stewart, or is there a more complicated calculus at work? Obviously, one need not be a GM to tell a buyer from a seller, and most trade targets share a few salient traits. Nevertheless, I thought I’d take a look at the players who changed hands this July to see if I could come up with a composite image of a player whose bags might well have been packed in preparation as the deadline approached. If we had to hire a police sketch artist to draw our prime trade fodder suspect’s Baseball-Reference page, how would we instruct him to fill in the fields?
The non-waiver trade deadline has passed, but the dealing is not necessarily done
As Jose Guillen approached the plate for his first at-bat Saturday night, the Kauffman Stadium crowd greeted him with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for an unwanted house guest who has announced he is staying for another week. The non-waiver trade deadline had passed just a few hours earlier, and Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore had not found a taker for his cleanup hitter. As Guillen popped out to right, Royals fans unleashed another round of boos.
Explaining a seldom-used and confusing procedure that enables a club to quickly clear a roster spot.
When Scott Mathieson made his major-league debut approximately four years ago, the Philadelphia Phillies were a very different team. David Bell played third base, Aaron Rowand patrolled center field, and the three-headed monster of Mike Lieberthal, Sal Fasano and Chris Coste were the catchers. Mathieson, a 22-year old flamethrower, had shown plenty of promise but was still in need of some seasoning, which made things all the more disappointing when he fell prey to the injury bug and had to go under the knife for surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. The road back has been tenuous, as rehabilitation was stunted by the need for a second Tommy John surgery. After successfully rehabbing from the second surgery, Mathieson found himself a minor-league reliever with fans clamoring for his presence on the big club’s roster.
'Tis the season for who needs what at what price, and poor-mouthing high and low, as the industry heads for Indy.
INDIANAPOLIS-Since it's the time of year to make a list and check it twice, all 30 major-league general managers are in the spirit. Not the spirit of the holidays, but the spirit of baseball's annual Winter Meetings, which begin here Monday. As GMs begin to converge on Indy today, all of them have wish lists, some longer than others. In order to fill those lists, though, they might have to give something up in return. With that in mind, here is a look at where all 30 teams stand on the eve of the winter meetings:
Seven simple rules to make your Hot Stove trade rumors more realistic.
Big baseball fans love October; huge baseball fans love November, too. Now, I'm not talking about the occasional World Series that peeks around the corner into November, I'm talking about Hot Stove season. The Hot Stove League is a great circuit for baseball fans, because every team is currently undefeated and nobody other than the most recent draft class is untradeable. Anybody could potentially be out there on the mound pitching your team a shutout on the first Monday of April. Anybody could be hitting a grand slam for your team in the first inning.
The offseason has barely begun, but already there has been a flurry of moves. Here's what to look forward to next.
Well, so much for the theory that the groundwork for trades is made at the general manager's meetings and consummated at the Winter Meetings. Four significant trades were made this week, and we're only entering our fourth day of the offseason. The GM meetings start tomorrow in Chicago, and there is better-than-even chance at least one deal will be made there. Heck, by the time the winter meetings get underway December 7 in Indianapolis, there might not be anybody left to trade. Thus, it behooves us to take a look at the trade market before it dries up.
Some veterans who may get moved this month, umpires dodging lightning bolts, disgruntled Venezuelans, and more developments on the diamond.
While most of the heavy-duty trading is over now that the deadline to make deals without securing waivers passed on July 31, there are still potential swaps to be made. A couple of relievers cleared waivers and changed teams this past week; the Rays acquired right-hander Chad Bradford from the Orioles, and the Phillies picked up left-hander Scott Eyre from the Cubs. The Red Sox had a deal in place to add to their already impressive arsenal by trading for Padres outfielder Brian Giles, but the San Diego native invoked his no-trade clause, preferring to remain in his hometown with the last-place Padres rather than join the contending Red Sox.