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It’s time to move the trade deadline back

Jul 23, 2013, 11:05 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Dave Cameron has a good argument for moving the trade deadline back over at FanGraphs. Read it all for the costs and benefits, but the upshot is that with two wild cards there are a LOT of teams who still think they’re in contention in mid-to-late July, thus making it really hard for them to pull the trigger to make moves that might make a lot of sense even a few weeks later.

If the trade deadline isn’t moved, I feel like that’s a new place for very brave GMs to gain an edge. Being the first guy of a maybe-contending team to realize that, nope, it’s not happening and trying to make deals. Obviously that’s hard politically — if you’re only a few games back fans will think you’re a contender whether you truly are or not — but it seems like being the first one to market with a real trade chit like the Cubs were yesterday did them a lot of good.

  1. bfunk1978 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Brian Kenny and Tom Versace had an interesting discussion on this yesterday on MLB Network. Verducci’s point was that teams already aren’t really willing to give up talent for starting pitchers that might make 10-12 starts. His theory is that teams will be willing to give up less and less if they’re going to get even fewer games out of the rental. Interesting theory, the only way to really find out is to put it into practice, I guess.

    • prionogenic - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      I don’t know that this is completely true. It depends on what a team is looking for. A small market team 3 games out of the Wild Card or the Division might have to think about what they are giving up for 10-12 starts because they are trying to [b]make the playoffs[/b]. A team that is leading their division but just had their number 1 starter go down due to a Tommy John surgery is looking for an Ace that [b]will be their game 1 starter in the World Series[/b] against Justin Verlander, Yu Darvish, or Clayton Kershaw.

      Cleveland, 2.5 out in the Central might be reluctant to give up prospects and pick up a lot of payroll since they are a few games out and don’t have the deep coffers. But Boston, who has the best record in the MLB, but has questions about the durability of Bucholz might want to go out and get a Chris Sale or Cliff Lee to fill out the top of the rotation spot because they’ll give up young talent and pay money for a shot at winning another WS.

      What teams are willing to give up all depends on situation and expectations.

      • bfunk1978 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        And I guess you proved me wrong because that doesn’t matter if the deadline is August 15 or July 31, the same teams have money.

  2. steelers88 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Yeah when they added the 2nd wildcard they should have pushed the trade deadline back there is to many teams that are still in it in late July and there is not enough players being traded.

  3. therealtrenches - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Craig, are you sympathizing with RAJ’s predicament? Am I reading this correctly?

    Don’t worry about good old Ruben. To him, none of this is nearly as complex as it is to you or I. To him, it’s quite simple: buy buy buy!

    • prionogenic - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      The second wild card really benefits and hurts teams like the Phillies. The are playing .500 baseball and it would be wise for them to shed some of their contracts and pick up some young talent, but the prospect of being 5 or 6 games behind in the second wild card really gives them some false hope of being able to make a run and get into the playoffs.

      What makes this hard for RAJ is that some of the most valuable players for the Phillies to trade are fan favorites like Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, and Cliff Lee. So it’s hard to keep getting fans going to games if you trade their favorite players. Then the guys that they can trade like Michael Young and Jonathon Papelbon have not been doing as well lately. Papelbon has blown 5 save attempts in his last 10 or so chances. Young is looking tired. So you might not be able to get much or anything for these guys.

  4. scotttheskeptic - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I have a better idea – eliminate the wild cards!

    • bfunk1978 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      So with 3 divisions in each league, the best record gets a week off?

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        Ideally, a return to 2 divisions per league, and, in my fantasy, contraction of 2 teams, thus 7 teams per division.

      • thinkfirstthenspeak - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        15 teams in one division! You have to have a team built for the regular season in order to get to World Series. Pennant races would be exciting in a way they haven’t been in more than 40 years.

        Of course playoff revenue would go down…

  5. wheels579 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    The hypocrisy with the current trade deadline, or any trade deadline at all, is that when rosters expand on September 1st, teams are allowed to compete with unequal roster sizes. I’d like to see the deadline moved back at least two weeks, but what’s the difference between a hired gun via trade or Bruce Bochy having 12 relievers in his pen each night for the last month of a pennant race?

    • blacksables - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      The teams can’t bring up anyone who isn’t on their 40-man roster, therefore, they can have no more than 40 players. Exactly what every other team can have.

      How is that unequal?

  6. Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Oh look, an open window. Okay, here’s my grenade for the morning. Why stop with pushing the trade deadline back? We keep hearing players traded midseason before their walk year referred to as “rentals.” Hell, why not allow real rentals – teams that are effectively out of it by July trading players who are still or will still be under their control the following season for just a few months, then getting them back again when the season ends. The sad sack team temporarily relieves itself of the burden of a salary in a year when it’s going nowhere, picks up a few prospects to restock its farm or whatever it can scrounge in the deal, and the contender gets its Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner for the Pork Chop Hill phase of the campaign. As the Harold Stassen campaign used to ask every four years, why not?

    • jrbdmb - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Why not? European soccer teams send players out on “loan” all the time. I think it would be interesting to see how much money the Feesh could make by loaning out Stanton and Fernandez for the rest of the year …

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        I know one regular commentator from Kansas City who would go for it.

  7. nelsonsaint - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    FanGraphs has a trade deadline? I suggest Calcaterra for Cameron and a nerd to be named later.

  8. bh192012 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    I don’t even like the trade deadline being as late as it is. You should not be able to completely change the character of your team this late in the season. If you’re short a quality starter, guess you should have done a better job building your team in the offseason?

  9. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    I once saw a team make up 7 games with 16 left to play. I’m not comparing this year’s Phillies to the 07 team because obviously they had more reason to be optimistic. But the come back did happen. And I’m not saying teams need to stay in it because they’re not mathematically eliminated yet. But shit happens, dude. The more teams giving up on the season means less teams competing, and less shit happening. What am I watching in September if more teams are giving up? The trade deadline is already late enough.

    (saying jokingly) You know what, I think you’re afraid of competition. Why do you want the Phillies to give up so early? So your Braves have easier games down the stretch? Hey, give Cliff Lee to some AL team so the Braves don’t have to see him.

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