The offseason is far from over, with extensions on the horizon, dozens of unresolved arbitration cases, and players like Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt and Yoenis Cespedes remaining on the free agent market. But if recent history is any indication, there’s not much reason to expect franchise-altering trades in the next six weeks.
Last year, the biggest name dealt between the beginning of February and the middle of March was Aaron Laffey, as our Transaction Tracker shows. The year before saw an early February deal involving Willy Taveras, Aaron Miles and Adam Rosales, but not much else. In 2009, the February 1st to March 15th window featured a Michael Wuertz trade during a similarly quiet period.
Back in 2008, however, months of rumors and speculation ended when Erik Bedard and Johan Santana were involved in early February blockbusters. There’s some history of major trades involving top starting pitchers, but the Matt Garza rumors have quieted down in recent weeks, and a significant deal doesn’t seem likely this month.
Why the calm six-week stretch from the beginning of February to the middle of March? Teams want to see what they have in their own camps before calling around for outside help. Plus, general managers are less likely to inquire about trades before injury concerns emerge during Spring Training. The quiet period should end toward the end of March, when out of options players who haven’t earned roster spots become available and a mini-flurry of deals takes place.