Brutal Trade-Deadline Travels

In terms of the baseball news cycle, the trade deadline — which passed less than a week ago, you might recall — is officially old news. But, as Wilmer Flores and the New York Mets very accidentally and very effectively reminded us, the trade deadline always has been and always will be a group of real-live human beings subjected to a gauntlet of some of the most mundane and anxiety-producing ordeals of the modern age: pursuit of a new residence, extensive travel, nagging doubts about one’s job performance.

While their trades are old news, more than a few of the players who were moved at the deadline no doubt have their heads still spinning from the unexpectedly grueling calendar that befell them. If their performance has faltered, may they have our sympathy — and if it has not, may they have our further admiration:

-As a member of the Boston Red Sox, Shane Victorino traveled to Houston to face the Astros in a three-game series from July 21-23. Boston was swept. On July 27, Victorino was traded to the Los Angeles Angels, who traveled to Houston for a three-game series from July 28-30. Los Angeles was swept.

-Upon being traded from the Atlanta Braves to the New York Mets, Juan Uribe joined the very small group of players who I affectionately like to follow, the three-teamers. Having played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Braves, and Mets this season, all by July 25, Uribe is in fact the third three-teamer of the season. On July 7, Marc Krauss joined the club, having appeared for the Angels, Tampa Bay Rays, and Detroit Tigers. The first three-teamer of the season was Wellington Castillo, who had appeared for the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, and Arizona Diamondbacks, all by June 5. (Seeing as Krauss has also appeared for the Salt Lake Bees and the Toledo Mud Hens, his season has no doubt been the most difficult of all.)

-Even though they were traded together, from the same place to the same new place, LaTroy Hawkins appeared in a game for the Toronto Blue Jays one day earlier than Troy Tulowitzki did, perhaps because the extremely experienced veteran was already traveling with his passport. As has been noted, this transaction has moved Hawkins into a fifteen-way for fifth-place on the wonderful all-time list of Most Franchises Played For. Earlier this season, Bruce Chen had created a fourteen-way tie for fifth place with two unsavory starts for the Cleveland Indians — but there probably won’t be any players joining Chen and Hawkins, much less the 13-team Octavio Dotel, anytime soon. Although I guess with journeymen this prolific you never know: Josh Wilson has played for nine teams through this, his age-34 season, and Dana Eveland has pitched with nine teams through just his age-31 season.

-On the other side of that trade, Jose Reyes has been thrown from a team on a cross-country road trip to another team, across the country, also on a cross-country road trip. His agenda of late:

  • July 17-29: Toronto
  • July 21-23: Oakland
  • July 24-26: Seattle
  • July 27: Flight back to Toronto
  • July 28: Traded to Rockies
  • July 29: Chicago
  • July 30-August 2: St. Louis
  • August 3-August 5: Denver
  • August 7-August 9: Washington, D.C.
  • August 10-August 13: New York

After which the Rockies will be home for nine games. But it should be noted: even though Reyes was playing on, technically, his “home field” for a series this week (against Seattle), these cannot possibly feel like home games for Reyes, who had not played at Coors Field since August 2012, as a member of the Miami Marlins. That Reyes is slashing .208/.259/.250 as a Rocky perhaps should not be a surprise, and perhaps further struggles should not be a surprise, as his fatigue no doubt accumulates.

Miguel Castro, moving from the Blue Jays’ organization to the Rockies’ organization, was also thrown across the country and from road trip to road trip. In the span of eleven days (July 22-August 1), Castro pitched in five ballparks: Buffalo, Pawtucket, Syracuse (then was traded), Albuquerque (in a home-game-not-home-game), Fresno. Jeff Hoffman, another prospect in the deal, was moved in Double-A to a new home stadium about two hours away from his old one. Doggone it, Jeff Hoffman.

We hoped you liked reading Brutal Trade-Deadline Travels by Miles Wray!

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Miles Wray contributes sports commentary to McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Ploughshares, The Classical and Hardwood Paroxysm. Follow him on Twitter @mileswray or email him here.

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Stinky Pete
Guest
Stinky Pete

I believe it was Doug Mientkiewicz who talked about packing his stuff and walking across the hallway when he was part of the Nomar four team trade in 2004.

Wildcard09
Guest

I also remember an interview with Doug on the 2004 WS video where he said when he walked into the Sox clubhouse and saw Nomar in street clothes with his bags he thought “I think I’m a pretty good player, but don’t tell me I just got traded for Nomar.”