Should MLB Create a Trade Exemption?

Last week, Garrett Richards blew out his knee, and will be out for the rest of the season. Richards was probably the Angels best starter, and because of the timing of the injury, they’re running low on quality options to replace him. As Paul Swydan noted on Friday, there’s Bartolo Colon, Scott Feldman, and, well, not a lot of else.

This is the nature of players getting hurt late in the season; once past the July 31st trade deadline, talent is difficult to acquire. I’ve argued for moving the trade deadline back, though that idea does not necessarily have wide appeal. So what about a more minor change that could keep teams from getting sunk due to a late-season injury: a trade exemption for teams that lose a player from their active roster and place him on the 60-day disabled list after August 1st?

We could even limit the exemption to the same position as the player lost, so that a team couldn’t disable a middle reliever in order to acquire an ace. For a team like the Angels, their situation has changed enough since July 31st to alter their calculations. Maybe now, without Richards, they’d make the Phillies a great offer for Cole Hamels, even including taking the remainder of Ryan Howard’s albatross contract? Or maybe they regret not meeting the Padres asking price for Ian Kennedy?

The intent of having a trade deadline is to stop teams from loading up on mercenaries and forcing a team’s postseason roster to somewhat resemble its regular season roster. But should we really be interested in punishing teams for losing players to unpredictable injuries towards the end of the year, simply because they had the poor fortune of losing a key contributor in August instead of July? Shouldn’t we be interested in letting contending teams maximize their chances of winning? And don’t we want rebuilding teams to be able to extract absurdly high prices from desperate buyers, thus shortening their path back to being a winning team?

Giving a team like the Angels a trade exemption to try to get a starting pitcher to replace Garrett Richards would make the AL West even more exciting, and potentially, lead to an even better postseason experience for the viewers. Even if the Angels overcome this injury and make the division series, is anyone really excited to tune in and watch Hector Santiago pitch a playoff game?

We hoped you liked reading Should MLB Create a Trade Exemption? by Dave Cameron!

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Billy Bean
Guest
Billy Bean

So you want to punish me for being smart enough to stockpile depth?

Book_Worm
Guest
Book_Worm

I completely agree with this sentiment. The reward for being a team that builds the best roster “One through Twenty-Five” is that you’ve got depth for situations like late-season pitching injuries.

Billy Bean
Guest
Billy Bean

I’ve talked about this in the last few seasons that we don’t even see the team as 25 guys. We look at around 30 guys as being “the team” because we know injuries will happen.

Billy Beane
Guest
Billy Beane

Can I get a cease and desist on you pretending to be me Bill?

If you just stop now, I’ll use my connections to see if Brad Pitt will play you in YOUR autobiography. Would that be good enough?

Billy Bean
Guest
Billy Bean

The E was the PTBNL in the Samardzija trade.

Rodney King
Guest
Rodney King

Billy, will you marry me?

Then you could be Billy Bean-King.

Detroit Michael
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Detroit Michael

If you are going to pretend to be the Oakland General Manager, don’t misspell the name to be the MLB Ambassador for Inclusion. Those are two different people.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Why does the best team in baseball need a trade exemption?