Major League Baseball teams might need to tweak how they approach in-season trades.
MLB will shift to a single non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, sources told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Here’s more from Rosenthal:
The idea, first proposed by the union, is to protect the competitive integrity of the 162-game regular season, create more certainty for players and force teams to decide earlier whether they are buyers or sellers.
Late-season salary dumps no longer will be possible. Nor will big additions with a month remaining on the schedule. Build your roster during the winter. Adjust at the deadline. Then play.
While most MLB teams already do their heavy lifting before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, it’s still possible under the current rules for clubs to swing trades up until Aug. 31, only with restrictions
(MLB Trade Rumors has an excellent breakdown of how August trades work right here.)
These restrictions historically have limited the number of impact deals in August, but post-July 31 blockbusters aren’t unprecedented. Just look at the August 2012 trade in which the Boston Red Sox sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers or the August 2017 deal in which the Detroit Tigers shipped Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros.
The new rules reported by Rosenthal would eliminate August trades altogether. Obviously, this would affect in-season maneuvering in several ways, impacting both contenders and teams out of contention, but it should make baseball’s summer wheeling and dealing a bit easier for casual fans to follow.
It’s unclear whether any other deadline-related changes would be made along with the implementation of a “new, one-size-fits-all deadline,” as Rosenthal described it.
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