Jul 26, 2011, 10:30 AM EST
Buster Olney has an interesting column up today, talking about how the trade deadline has changed in the past several years. The upshot, with which I agree, is that whereas teams didn’t value their prospects as highly as they should have 15 or 20 years ago, trading them for rent-a-veterans all willy-nilly, these days they’re probably being too cautious. They overvalue even fringe prospects and lack the cajones to make a bold deal.
Supporting the column are quotes from some random, anonymous baseball executives. One says that given some past bad deals — Buster cites the famous Heathcliff Slocumb-to-Seattle for Varitek and Lowe deal — GMs are afraid to make a mistake. Another talks about how GMs pay more attention to contracts and money now than they used to. Another says that there is probably more media and fan pressure to make deals for their own sake than is warranted given a team’s competitive decision and the pieces it has available.
All of those make sense. As does the general idea expressed in a view of their quotes that media pressure and scrutiny from fans on the Internet affect all of this. But I think one guy Olney quotes — an “AL official” — is kind of off-base:
“I’d say one of the biggest changes has been the advent of Twitter and the impact it has had upon the coverage of the deadline and the game. Now there appears to be a race to be first — instead of being right — and to get it out there in 140 characters or less. Every rumor is quickly and widely disseminated, oftentimes without regard for its possible veracity. This causes many more potential deals and players’ names to be ‘out there’ and has created an additional element for teams to try to manage.”
Being charitable, I get the broad strokes of what he’s saying here — it fits with the media scrutiny thing — but what kind of a team is basing its decisions on Internet chatter? Do you think Ruben Amaro, Theo Epstein or Brian Cashman give a fetid pair of dingo’s kidneys what rumors are being tweeted around? Heck, I bet they spend more time laughing at how they could, if they wanted to, mess with all of us, than they do worrying about how what so-and-so is hearing might affect their trade strategies.
Show me a team that is “trying to manage the additional element” caused by Twitter, and I’ll show you a team that doesn’t have its priorities in the right place. Good teams set the narrative. They don’t react to it.
- Media paying for athlete interviews? Not likely. But watch this stuff closely anyway. 8
- Rockies acquire Brett Anderson from A’s 12
- D’backs, Angels, White Sox agree to three-team Mark Trumbo deal 64
- Ranking MLB managers by . . . handsomeness 81
- Curtis Granderson: “A lot of people have told me real New Yorkers are Mets fans” 61
- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners (260)
- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- Report: Yankees have agreed to a three-year deal with Carlos Beltran (125)
- Brett Gardner is drawing “significant” trade interest (113)
- Robinson Cano “didn’t want to play” for Joe Girardi (110)