Yesterday, La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune heard about no-trade problems for the Twins with Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre. Today, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has further detail:
When [the Twins] attempted to investigate a possible deal, they discovered that — since the last time they’d looked into Beltre during the season — he’d added the Twins to a list of teams on his limited no-trade clause. Twins officials were somewhat surprised, though it’s not unusual. When a player sees a team showing public interest in trading for him, they will sometimes amend their no-trade to include that club and then use it as a bargaining chip down the road. Usually, some kind of cash settlement is needed.
If players can freely swap out or add teams to their partial no-trade clause, why do such clauses exist? Did Scott Boras negotiate some type of flexible no-trade clause, or are all partials like this? I don’t have the answers, but Baker says this is a "workable" scenario in regard to the Twins and Beltre. He seems to be the best available third baseman. Any team acquiring him gets him for one year plus probable Type A draft pick compensation if he’s offered arb and leaves.