View Full Version : Questions about the mechanisms of a trade

07-20-2012, 01:21 PM
As fans we like to toss names about, saying we'd give this player for that player (usually lopsided in the Reds favor of course), but the approaching trade deadline got me wondering...just what does it take to really pull off a trade? I'm talking at the basic, functional level.

I mean, I've seen Moneyball but I wonder how close to reality the trades that Beane pulls off really are. I'm guessing there was some basis in fact there, but then you see something like this from MLBTR:

The Dodgers continue in "hot pursuit" of Dempster, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com tweets. The Dodgers still have an offer on the table and are hoping to complete a deal as soon as possible.
Trade talks could drag on for a few more days, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.
The Dodgers and Cubs havenít found common ground in discussions about Dempster, ESPN.comís Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Other teams are being aggressive.

I'm wondering, what could cause talks to go on a few more days? Is this posturing? Is it hoping that another team will make a better offer? Is it the money involved?

And what else goes into making a trade? Who gets talked to? How often do the principle executives meet? What is going on in the player's head while his name is mentioned in talks?

Sorry if this is all basic stuff, but I've always been curious about this and I know there are people here who are much more knowledgeable about the inner workings of a baseball front office than I am. I'm hoping some of those folks can give us some insight here.

07-20-2012, 01:46 PM
Leverage. Scouting minor leaguers. Medical reports.

07-20-2012, 01:57 PM
Sights like mlbtraderumors have put an interesting spin on how trades are done now. In regards to trades, the media is used now more than ever.

07-20-2012, 03:35 PM
It varies wildly from trade to trade and organization to organization based on the situation.

General Managers have scouting reports and stats available in a database on pretty much every player already, so sometimes if the familiarity is right and the team knows what it wants/needs, a trade could be concocted over a cup of coffee. Other times, it might require discussing it with consultants, scouts, advanced scouts or assistants. Obviously the financial component might sometimes require the approval of ownership.

There's probably no one typical answer. I do know, though, once a trade is finalized and approved by the commissioner's office, they have 20 days to submit the written transfer agreement. Interestingly, in trades of 'players to be named later,' it's this transfer agreement that starts the 6-month clock on PTBNL. Clubs are also required to pay temporary moving expenses for players when they're traded, so that paperwork burden is added on top of everything.