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We need a later trade deadline next year

Aug 1, 2013, 2:03 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v San Diego Padres Getty Images

With 10 teams now reaching the postseason and more than two-thirds of the league still thinking it has a shot as of July 31, it’s time for the trade deadline to be pushed back, at least until Aug. 15.

Too many teams were too afraid to sell to make Wednesday the lively affair we were hoping for. Even the Phillies and Mariners, both six games under .500 (now seven) couldn’t be convinced they were out of the race. The surging Royals could have used a couple of more weeks to figure out whether they should go for it or not.

Of course, waiver deals can be completed in August, but those give an unfair advantage to lesser teams. If the Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox all claim Michael Young, why should only the Yankees, the team with the weakest record in the bunch, be able to trade for him? Plus, waiver deals are subject to complications. While a prospect not on a 40-man roster can be traded at any point, a prospect on the 40-man roster has to clear waivers in a deal, just like a major league veteran. And that typically doesn’t happen.

Yes, there are integrity issues that come into play with a later deadline. It wouldn’t be best for the league as a whole if a contender suddenly lost eight in a row in August and decided to sell off all of its free agents to one team. Aug. 31 would probably be too late. Aug. 15 seems like the reasonable compromise; instead of the deadline coming two-thirds of the way through the season, it’d come at the three-quarters mark instead.

  1. Arods Other Doctor - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    So you want the Phillies to be able to unload when they’re mathematically eliminated because they’re too stupid to do so now? I don’t see how that would be an improvement. Bad GM’s would keep their jobs even longer.

    • Joe - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Not necessarily. If a GM is selling every single year, he’s probably not going to keep his job any longer than he does now.

  2. chaseutley - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I reject the assertion that the Phillies made no trade deadline moves because they weren’t convince that they were out of the playoff race.

    The Phillies made no trades because nobody made them an offer that motivated them to sell.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Why should they get something when they could have nothing instead?

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      I’m still of the belief that the Phillies made no moves so that the blame for this season and potentially next is due to player performance, rather than a General Manager making poor trades. Everything Ruben Amaro has done the past few months leads me to the conclusion he is positioning himself to stand up to scrutiny and save his job.

    • tfoz5150 - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      Exactly. Where’s the harm in showing up to spring training with Cliff Lee and Paplebon next year? Unless of course Paps can’t turn things around.

      • dan1111 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:49 AM

        Ok, fair enough. But now defend not trading Michael Young.

  3. dondada10 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    “Plus, waiver deals are subject to complications. While a prospect not on a 40-man roster can be traded at any point, a prospect on the 40-man roster has to clear waivers in a deal, just like a major league veteran. And that typically doesn’t happen.”

    Eh. The prospect can also be referred to as a PTBNL in a trade. You won’t get him until the off-season, but the minor league season ends sooner, any how.

    • dodger88 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      True. In the big trade between the Dodgers & Red Sox, Ruby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands were both on the 40 man roster of the Dodgers so they were PTBNL and it wasn’t much of a secret. The only risk was if one of them had gotten hurt the Sox either accept damaged goods or renegotiate.

  4. chc4 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    False premise. The Phillies and Mariners know they are out of it but they’re GMs are too stubborn to admit it publicly. August 15 won’t change that. The CBA change involving comp picks is the #1 reason the deadline has less meaning. The sellers have the comp pick in their back pocket and acquiring teams don’t get access to that pick. So sellers ask for alot and buyers are offering less. It’s that simple.

    • dondada10 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      Never thought of it that way. The sellers want more and the buyers are inclined to give up less than ever (for impending free-agents).

    • biasedhomer - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      This makes the most sense. If the player you get for a Mike Young is projected to be fringe MLB player at best, there is no need to make the deal, unless you want to save some cash.

      That Winners and Losers at the deadline article from yesterday based on pure speculation seems idiotic now.

    • paperlions - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      Sellers ONLY have a comp pick in their pocket if they are willing to offer a qualifying offer (approx. $14M this year) to the impending FA, which the FA then has to turn down. No declined offer = no pick.

      • chc4 - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Right but the new CBA eliminates the acquiring team from getting the comp pick even if they extend a qualifying offer. So that player they are getting becomes less valuable assuming it’s a 2 month rental. But to the seller that player has tremendous value IF they plan to tender him. In the case of Michael Young I have no clue what Amaro was thinking b/c no way they extend him the qualifying offer.

      • paperlions - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        Yes, I made that point higher up….fact is there are very few impending FAs that are both worth $14M/year and willing to accept a 1 year deal. There was almost no one on the block this year that teams will tender an offer to.

      • chc4 - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Right, which is why some of these GMs (Mets, Amaro, Mariners, Marlins) blew it. If they extend the 1 yr qualifying offer, all of their aging vets like Ibanez and Young will take it which ultimately shouldn’t be what they want. Gotta turn these guys at the end of their careers into future assets. And that phenomena has nothing to do with the trade deadline being July 31 or Aug 15. Which was my original point.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Are more trades better? Why should playoff teams be able to load up anyway? The players that made the team a contender in the first place should be the players the team takes to the playoffs.

    • Detroit Michael - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      This poster has it right in my opinion. Keep the non-waiver trade deadline at July 31. You don’t want to let a team load its post-season roster with a bunch of acquired stars that spent less than a third of the regular season or so in their organization.

      • danaking - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        I agree with both comments above completely. We don;t want all-star teams in the playoffs. The trading deadline is fun, but the off-season is the time to make the major moves for the year. Tweaks are fine during the season, but you don;t want to open up for so many trades so late the team that appears in the playoffs bears little resemblance to the team on the field for the first four months.

    • biasedhomer - Aug 1, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      Its mainly a disappointment because there is less to talk about and discuss.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 1, 2013 at 8:52 PM

        Except maybe baseball. I like talking about that.

  6. dowhatifeellike - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    All of this is assuming that more trades are better for the game. I don’t think that’s correct.

    • ezthinking - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Amen. If you demand more trades, you are forbidden to bitch about a player leaving his original team for greener pastures.

  7. proudlycanadian - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Why should the trade deadline be moved back just because journalists and bloggers are bored by the lack of action? Traditionally, too many teams made big mistakes at the trade deadline that they regret greatly at year end. The best time to make a trade is at the season’s end when you are not caught up in the heat of a pennant race and your thinking is affected by rose colored glasses.

  8. brewcitybummer - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    So long as we’re just speculating on the interwebs, let’s go with a premiere league system where trades can only happen from December-February and during July. That way we get the build up and speculation prior to trade period and 24 rumors during each. More time to do things isn’t good for speculation, deadlines are good for speculation.

  9. afrancis55 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Or instead of waiting till a week before the deadline to try and get a deal done, teams can begin the negotiation process earlier

  10. Andrew Chapman - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Maybe we don’t even need the trade deadline anymore. With the CBA, the extra wild card, etc., trades are already not happening. With no deadline, maybe sellers’ prices would have to come down?? I don’t know, spitballing here. I’ve tried playing this out in my head but I have a hard time envisioning what a season with no trade deadline would look like.

    • dan1111 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:53 AM

      It’s easy to envision: the teams that are going to make the playoffs would stock up on all the best players just before the season ends. The teams competing in the playoffs would bear little resemblance to the teams that played during the regular season.

  11. icanspeel - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I like it how it is since it keeps some teams more competitive.. if more teams traded all their players then it could impact the playoff race if say a contender has 9 more games against a team that sold their best players. This way a team may have to offer more to get a player if they actually want a deal since most teams still think they are in it.

  12. therealtrenches - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Almost all of you write about making moves as if you’re supposed to do it for the sake of it. If the Phillies couldn’t get value for Cliff Lee, they shouldn’t have moved him.

    It’s not as if they didn’t try (and it’s *definitely* not as if they think they’re contenders, and that’s why they didn’t trade anyone). This site had plenty of buzz about their attempts to move him.

    If Amaro had made any of the moves he had on the table yesterday, you’d likely all be laughing at him today for making lousy moves. Lee’s a good guy to have in your rotation. You’ve gotta get something back for him if you’re gonna deal him.

  13. theinconvienenttruth - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Extending the trade deadline would go against the MLB’s agenda to create a competitive balance.

  14. paperlions - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    I really don’t think the timing is the problem. The problem is that most good teams are good because they are smartly run, and most smartly run teams do not pay a lot in terms of prospects for rentals anymore because the expanded playoffs have made winning the WS even more of a crap shoot. There is very little reward for acquiring a rental player if you are already going to make the playoffs…because that player barely affects your likelihood of winning it all. Smartly run teams know you need to maximize the frequency with which you make the playoffs, and you don’t do that by trading a lot of good prospects for a rental.

    In addition, a lot of the crappy teams are crappy because they are not smartly run. Those teams think they should still get a kings ransom for rental players (and often not have to pick up any of the remaining salary), when in fact, ANYTHING they get is better than the nothing they’ll get at the end of the year. Combined, this creates a dynamic in which most of the logical trade partners are very far apart on value.

    A lot of the sellers are poorly run teams, and poorly run teams make a lot of bad decisions. The Mariners, Royals, Phillies, and Mets are all poorly run teams that should have been selling to build for the future, but didn’t. Smartly run selling teams (e.g. Cubs, Astros) made a lot of trades and got what they could…because anything you get is better than the nothing you’ll get later.

  15. Walk - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    I am for the later trade deadline, but that would devalue the one years rentals some.

  16. ramblingalb - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    No we don’t. Teams have learned 60 days of a slight upgrade does not equal 2-3 prospects teams control cheaply for 6-7 years. The biggest trade in ’12 was the Greinke robbery, and teams have learned their lesson. Waiver trades can still happen, and will. This is an overreaction by those who tend to overreact..

  17. Tim's Neighbor - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    The premise that more trades is a better thing isn’t a premise I agree with. Lazy article.

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