MLB Trade Rumors History Rumors

April Trading

So far this month, a couple of minor trades have occurred: the Phillies acquired Francisco Rosario, while the Mariners got Jason Ellison.  I thought it would be interesting to look back a couple of years to see just how common April trades are.

April 2006

  • 4/1: Rangers traded David Dellucci to Phillies for Robinson Tejeda.  Given the Tejeda is now an important piece of the Rangers’ rotation, this deal is notable.  Jon Daniels doesn’t have a great trading history but he did OK here.
  • 4/7: Indians traded Brandon Phillips to the Reds for a PTBNL or cash.  One of Wayne Krivsky’s best moves.
  • 4/28: Devil Rays acquired Tyler Walker from the Giants for Carlos Hines.  Walker’s never been particularly good, but he did have a stint as the Rays’ closer last year before succumbing to elbow surgery.

April 2005

  • 4/9: Rockies acquired reliever Jose Acevedo from the Reds for prospect Allan Simpson.  Acevedo was awful for the Rox, but he did pitch 64 innings in ’05.

That’s all we had in ’05.  Needless to say teams were not wheeling and dealing in April.

April 2004

  • 4/3: Cards acquired Roger Cedeno from the Mets for Chris Widger and Wilson Delgado.  Cedeno got into 95 games with the Cards that year as an extra outfielder.
  • 4/3: Mariners acquired infielder Jolbert Cabrera from the Dodgers for prospects.  Cabrera got 359 ABs as the Ms’ utility man in ’04 and hit .270/.312/.384.  He and Scott Spiezio were probably a big reason they signed Adrian Beltre.
  • 4/3: Rangers acquired pitcher Chris Young from the Expos for Einar Diaz, Justin Echols, and cash.  You can give John Hart props for that one.
  • 4/3: Dodgers acquired Antonio Perez from the Devil Rays for outfielder Jason Romano.  Perez didn’t play for L.A. until 2005 but certainly had his uses.
  • 4/3: Padres acquired reliever Blaine Neal for reliever Ben Howard.  You may not have heard of these guys, but both tossed 35+ innings out of their teams’ pens in 2004.  Neal was better.
  • 4/4: Dodgers acquired Milton Bradley from the Indians for Franklin Gutierrez and a PTBNL.  Bradley had a decent year (and his healthiest) as the Dodgers’ CF.  Gutierrez is still trying to master Triple A but he’s had a few cups of coffee.
  • 4/8: Rockies acquired starter Zach McClellan and infielder Chris Fallon for reliever Justin Huisman.  Huisman pitched 25 awful innings for the Royals that year, and hasn’t surfaced in the Majors since.  Meanwhile, McClellan was converted to relief and recently joined the Rockies’ big league pen.
  • 4/13: Twins acquired Terry Mulholland from the Mariners for cash considerations.  Mulholland, always one of my favorites, pitched 123 not-so-great innings as the Twins’ swingman that year.
  • 4/17: Astros acquired Chad Harville from the A’s for Kirk Saarloos.  Both players are still relevant and mildly useful, with Harville landing in Tampa Bay this season and Saarloos joining the Reds. 
  • 4/25: Indians acquired reliever Rick White from the Dodgers for outfielder Trey Dyson.  White is not particularly good but continues to find work.  Might be his fluke 3.72 ERA for the Bucs in ’05.
  • 4/25: Indians acquired Russell Branyan from the Braves for a PTBNL.  It was to be Branyan’s second stint with the Tribe, but he never played for the big club.  He later helped the Brewers that year and in ’05, racking up all kinds of walks, home runs, and strikeouts.

It appears that GMs have seriously changed their April philosophy over only a few years.  The decline in April trading seems more than random fluctuation.  Teams were more willing to tinker and send prospects around in ’04; now they’re more cautious and try to fill holes internally first.

Trading Deadline History: 2005

I love this time of year, as trade rumors fly with reckless abandon.  But every year there’s a hell of a lot more talk than action.  Last year was one of the worst in recent memory.  Here are the highlights of July 2005:

The Mariners sent Bret Boone to the Twins on the 11th.

Two days later, the Nationals got Preston Wilson for Zach Day and change.

That same day the A’s made a couple of small deals, acquiring Jay Payton and sending off Eric Byrnes in separate trades.

The Yanks picked up Al Leiter on the 16th from Florida.

On the 18th, a year ago yesterday, the Cubs sent Jason Dubois to Cleveland for Jody Gerut.

The Royals sent Tony Graffanino to the Red Sox the next day.  The Phils picked up Tim Worrell on the 21st.

On the 23rd the Padres made their big deal to get Joe Randa for Travis Chick.  The Reds went on to swap Chick for Eddie Guardado about a year later.

Things were quiet until the 28th, when the Yanks snagged Shawn Chacon.  Exciting.

On the 30th the Padres and Rangers swapped the salaries of Phil Nevin and Chan Ho ParkEric Byrnes went to Baltimore, and the Red Sox snagged Jose Cruz Jr.

Deadline day: The Mariners ditched Ron Villone for a decent prospect in Yorman Bazardo.  Bill Bavasi also shipped off Randy Winn, among a few others.  The Cubs turned Gerut into Matt Lawton, whose horse steroids wouldn’t help him down the stretch.  The Braves pulled off a deal for Kyle Farnsworth, easily the best reliever to change hands. 

That pretty much sums it up.  Winn and Farnsworth were the biggest names last July.  Rumored players who didn’t get dealt: Roger Clemens, Austin Kearns, Danys Baez, A.J. Burnett, Mike Sweeney, Aubrey Huff, Alfonso Soriano, Bronson Arroyo, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, Billy Wagner, Jeff Weaver, and Manny Ramirez.  It seemed almost certain that Burnett would be traded last summer.

Cherish what we have here this year.  The Kearns deal was huge, and it looks like Soriano will be moved as well.  Throw in some Phillies and various starters and 2006 has far more promise than last year.