The lack of big trades.

As the 2012 baseball trading deadline approaches, it seems like there haven’t been any big names change teams. Sure, Ichiro, Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and (possibly) Ryan Dempster found new homes, but players just aren’t moving like you’d hope they would.

This promotes boredom among fantasy baseball owners. We need the drama of the trading deadline.

There are a couple reasons for the lack of trades as the 2012 deadline approaches.

  1. There was a second Wild Card team added this year. A second Wild Card team means there are more teams who feel like they have a chance to make the playoffs. If a team thinks they have a shot then they aren’t going to sell off their players for prospects.
  2. There have been significant changes to free agency under the new collective bargaining agreement. Before, if a team traded for a player that they’d use as a “rental” to make a playoff push and that player would sign elsewhere after the season was over, the team that traded for them would get a compensation (Type A or Type B) draft pick. That took away a little of the sting. But there are changes this year and I’ll try and outline them below:
  • Type A and Type B compensation picks have been eliminated. Under the new agreement, teams are only eligible for draft pick compensation if they make the player a qualifying offer.
  • What is a qualifying offer you ask? It is determined by averaging the top 125 player salaries from the previous year, and should fall in the $12 million dollar range. These qualifying offers are for 1 year.
  • If teams don’t make a qualifying offer, the player can sign uninhibited and without restrictions with any club and for any salary/duration.
  • After a team makes a qualifying offer the player has two choices:
    1. He can accept the one-year, $12 mil deal or
    2. He can decline decline the offer and go for a bigger, longer contract in free agency.
    • If the player declines the offer and signs with another club, his new team will have to give up a high round pick, which doesn’t go to the player’s former team.

    Here is where it gets confusing:

    • The forfeited picks don’t go to other MLB teams. Instead, the first round is condensed.
    • However, the first ten selections in the draft are protected and this means that teams with those protected picks will surrender their second-highest selections instead.
    • The player’s former team will receive its compensatory selection at the end of the first round and teams now obtain just one compensatory selection, instead of two.
    • Only players who have been with their clubs for the entire season will be eligible for compensation.

    You can see why this would make teams more hesitant to trade a large package of prospects for a rental (but the off season should be interesting). The problem is that teams who typically would trade away their stars for prospects are still used to those large offers and are expecting them. It’s created a stalemate.

    It’s also created boredom among fantasy baseball owners. Yet, we will survive.

    But we aren’t at the deadline yet. Surely, trades will still be made and as they are we’ll try and help you understand their fantasy baseball significance.

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