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Friday, December 17, 2004

#4 Multi-team trades

Nomar Garciaparra. Need I say more? Last season, the Cubs/Expos, and Red Sox were involved in a deal, that to most was cloudy at best. I had to rule. I ruled that these types of trades will be viewed by their net result as it may be too difficult down the road to figure out EXACTLY what happened. No sooner that today, has this issue raised its hand again. Taken from the MLB.com:

According to Newsday, The Associated Press, and The Sporting News, the Yankees would receive the 41-year-old Johnson in the deal while sending Vazquez and two minor-league prospects -- catcher Dioner Navarro and third baseman Eric Duncan -- to the Dodgers. The Dodgers would send Green and pitchers Brad Penny and Yhency Brazoban to Arizona.
To me the above is confusing. It states Green and Penny go to Arizona, Johnson goes to NY, and Vasquez goes to LA. This deal could have worked one of two ways. Either LA traded Green and Penny to NY, and then they sent them to AZ for Johnson OR LA sent Green and Penny to Arizona for Johnson, and then he was shipped to NY for Vasquez. The second scenario is unlikely as Johnson didn’t want to go to LA, even though he wound up in NY. The point here is HOW DO WE KNOW??

I would actually like to get this issue put to bed now, as it directly affects a BU teams ability to prepare for the draft. In the first scenario, Green would be a free agent as he went to NY, in the second he would still be under contract, under our current interpretations of the rules. I say this needs to change. Should we:

A) allow these types of deals to be viewed as one trade, and then release or keep people based on net result

B) Scour the transaction pages looking for an official explanation of what happened. That would also bring into question what the official source is.

I personally think option B leaves a door open for some pretty bad feelings down the road as some will feel screwed. Also, who is going to be responsible for figuring out what happened? Option A is simpler and much cleaner. In the current day of baseball, these types of deals happen more frequently than they did in the past. Let’s figure this one out.

Commissioner Bob

Update: 12/29/2004

The league has spoken and the majority believes that a multi team trade (meaning 3 or more teams, with a mixture of AL and NL) will be forevermore viewed in its NET RESULT. The players who go to the AL are lost, and the players who wind up staying in the NL are kept. These trades MUST be reported in the same day, and if the player who is in the AL for a minute plays in an AL game in the time he is there, he will be considered an AL player even if he comes back to the NL in the same day. This will be the case retroactive to the end of last season (I don’t think there have been any deals as such yet—but it sounded official).

favor A. Trades have to be expressed as multi-team deals. The Dodgers made about three or four trades last year at the deadline. Didn’t they get a minor leaguer from Florida and trade him to AZ for Finley in two separate trades on the same day? Could this type of trade cause confusion?

In addition I think the offseason period should be viewed as one day if you will. So that if Beltre or Cruz somehow mange to end up back in the NL by draft day, they should be reinstated to their original teams. Remember the reasoning behind the losing guys to the AL. We have always relied on players being evaluated in BU terms at the Draft. This is a player’s “real worth”. If a player goes to the AL and comes back, his worth hasn’t changed from his previous contract. The reason the team losing a Cruz to the Al shouldn’t get Hudson is that obviously Hudson’s value hasn’t been determined.
I'd vote in favor of option A - but only if it is a multi-team and
multi-player trade that happens all at once. So this wouldn't cover a trade
in which Johnson gets traded to the Yankees and then a week later gets
traded by the Yankees back to the NL. During the season this would cause
too much confusion since we might make subsequent transactions. Guess it
would be ok if you got the player back if it was during the off-season - but
what if you didn't want the player. Let's say Doug lost Renteria and was
happy about that and then added a $40 hitter because he thought he had extra
money to spend and then got saddled with Renteria again or that he traded
for another SS and had no desire to have two expensive SS. If we do this we
would have to allow a team to decline getting the player back again.
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I have found what I think is an accurate source of how transactions actually transpire. Perhaps others could look at this for its accuracy and then agree/disagree to use it.

I have named the link stosh.

I think we need to both agree to a method and a source for transactions. If we were using the "net of everything rule" what would have happened in the Nomar deal if one leg of the deal would have been finished a day ahead of time? Would it still be part of the deal?

I propose we choose a source and then however that source reports the trade, that is how we count it. even if we think that source might be in error.
This site looks great, but I would still argue that if your player stays in the NL in a simultaneous deal where he passed through an AL team for a second, you shouldn’t automatically lose him. Maybe we could use this site and then say if this happened to one of your guys, you would then have the option of releasing or keeping him. So in the case of B Harris, Low Life could have cut or kept him. If this site is accurate all year, it looks great. It is the ONLY place I have seen the evidence to support the Nomar deal as Stosh suggested it went down.
Final outcome as determined by commissioner. Maybe if Bob is involved we can have Cooney make the final determination.

Commissioner is infailable in all decisions.
Do we also need to look into how we handle 4 team trades? By this I mean do trades have to be spelled out in exact detail? How, for example, did the recent Hens, Ramrods, Huge, Doorights trade work? Were all the moves spelled out? I'm assuming not because the Ramrods ended up with W. Helms but the Mudhens didn't end up with anybody from the Ramrods and the Doorights ended up with players from 3 different teams but only traded one player. So it seems we should either clarify this rule, get a detailed run-down of the trade, or void the trade....which I would not be in favor of. I don't bring this up to throw a wrench into anything...but because I know this proved difficult in the past. I recall a 3-way trade last year (can't recall the teams or players involved) but I had to lay this out in detail for the Commish. Also, reading the proposed R. Johnson 3 team trade it seems as though in MLB they don't have to show a clear set of transactions. Thoughts?
In favor of A. Also, I agree with Wobblies that this should be taken into account only for multi-player trades that happen all at once.
I like the net result as long as the trade is announced in same day. Also like the off-season being treated as net so if one of your signed guys goes into the AL and back to the NL by draft day, you retain rights.
It appears that this issue is rounding into form. Most of the opinions which have been expressed so far state that they would be in favor of a "net result" method. The criteria for this to come into play would be the following:

For a trade to be considered net result it MUST involve 3 or more teams with a mixture of both leagues. In addition, the trade must be reported simultaneously, meaning "all at once or in the same day". In addition, if the player going from the NL to the AL and back to the NL plays a game for an AL team on the day he is acquired, the "net result" goes out the window. This seems to be the easiest way to decipher multi team trades.

The next part of this which will need to be discussed is the "off season" counting as "one day". I personally am not sure how I feel about this concept. What if Shawn Green was traded to the AL in Novemeber, then Doug thought he had money to play with, only to find Green back in the NL on 3/1?? This could severly screw you. I don't think I would vote for that, however, I could see voting in favor of having "rights" where you could reclaim him if he came back, but you wouldn't be obligated to take him on.

This issue needs to be put to bed by the end of the year!
Cool...I like the "rights" solution as long as they would come back at previous salary and contract length
I was the one who got "shafted" in the Nomar trade...seems like I was involved in most of these issues - I apologize.
However, I believe Bob made the correct decision and I stood by it. Option A is the only way to go here. It is soooo much simpler when you look at the net outcome. That's how I saw the Nomar thing, until everybody started to spin everything up...
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