Blum: MLB lobby trades disappear at Winter Meetings

From Ronald Blum at the Associated Press on December 6, 2015, with mention of SABR member Roland Hemond:

Forty years ago this month, Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck and general manager Roland Hemond set up a table in the lobby of the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, with an “Open for Business Anytime” sign and made four trades in an hour that involved Mickey Lolich, Rusty Staub and Ralph Garr.

That was baseball’s last winter meetings before free agency. The average salary was just under $45,000 a year and advanced analytics was batting average with runners in scoring position.

This season, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw earned $160,656 a day and teams hold multiple conference calls before trades, mulling over statistical spreadsheets, video, personal background files and medical reports before finalizing deals.

“It wouldn’t work today,” Hemond, now an Arizona Diamondbacks special assistant, said Sunday. “You’re trying to hide the fact that you’re talking about a free agent or a big trade.”

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Originally published: December 7, 2015. Last Updated: December 7, 2015.