Neyer: Trades at baseball’s Winter Meetings

From SABR member Rob Neyer at The National Pastime Museum on December 18, 2017:

Making baseball trades used to be relatively easy. In the old days, few players had multiyear contracts and no players had no-trade clauses. Also, few players made enough money that a prospective employer had to worry much about affording their acquisition.

So in the old days—and here we’re talking about the really old days, all the way back in the 1960s, early 70s tops—most teams would head to the Winter Meetings with a list of needs, and teams often would make enough deals to check off most of their lists. For better or (as it often turned out) worse.

Things are different now. Trades are way more complicated now. It’s hardly uncommon for a team to skip the trade market altogether, at least during the Winter Meetings. When a single team does make big waves in December, it’s usually due to a combination of trades—one or two big ones, maybe—and a splashy free agent signing or two.

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Originally published: December 18, 2017. Last Updated: December 18, 2017.