Does trading for a manager make sense? Red Sox hope so

From Joe Lemire at Sports Illustrated on November 20, 2012, with mention of SABR member John Thorn:

Managers are more accustomed to a hot seat than the Hot Stove, but players haven’t been the only ones populating baseball’s transactions in recent years.

In the waning days of the 2011 season, the Marlins pried Ozzie Guillen away from the White Sox, where he had seemingly worn out his welcome. Last month the Blue Jays traded John Farrell to the Red Sox after he told his boss in Toronto he wanted to return to Boston.

If trades involving a manager seem rare, it’s because they are: that pair of deals represents one-third of all such moves in baseball history.

The primary impediment to more frequent trades is that managers, whose employment is not covered by the collective bargaining agreement, cannot be traded without their consent the way players can.

So even as organizations are always looking to find advantages and as two executives also recently changed teams in exchange for player compensation — last offseason then-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein left to become Cubs president and his former lieutenant, then-Padres GM Jed Hoyer joined him as Cubs GM — don’t expect managers or executives to become seen as regularly tradeable assets, even though such transactions could be worthwhile.

The first such trade was a one-for-one midseason manager swap in 1960, when the Indians’ Joe Gordon and the Tigers’ Jimmie Dykes were dealt for each other.

“It was regarded,” Major League Baseball’s official historian, John Thorn, said in a telephone interview, ” as, A, unprecedented, B, sensational, and, C, weird.”

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Originally published: November 20, 2012. Last Updated: November 20, 2012.