Major League Baseball has had to deal with a number of situations recently in which it’s had to punish teams or front offices, rather than players. Those include the Padres’ failure to disclose some medical information in trades, which led to the suspension of GM A.J. Preller; the Red Sox’ manipulation of international signing practices; and hacking of the Astros’ database by a Cardinals front office employee. Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald explores those issues an excellent article that includes new tidbits from commissioner Rob Manfred. (We also highlighted some of Manfred’s other thoughts on the Preller matter yesterday.)
Some throughout the game have wondered whether Preller’s 30-day suspension is enforceable. He would, surely, only need his phone and computer to continue to influence over the Padres’ decision-making. Manfred, though, says that the league has mechanisms in place to ensure Preller stays away.
“I know where A.J. is,” Manfred says. “We’ve also told the Padres that we will be making investigatory undertakings to verify that there has been no contact. They’re very, very explicit rules about what he can and can’t do. I think given the circumstances, I am comfortable we can enforce the penalty.”
The Red Sox, of course, were victims of Preller’s handling of medical information, having been deprived of relevant records in the Drew Pomeranz / Anderson Espinoza swap. The Sox could have rescinded the deal in either July or August, Drellich reports. When the Red Sox learned that the Padres had withheld information, they informed the league, but took the position that they wanted to keep Pomeranz, even after receiving the results of an MRI that increased their frustration with the situation. (The exact results of the MRI are not publicly known, although Pomeranz is currently struggling with left forearm soreness.)
“For a very, very long time, there has been a rule in baseball that if something happens in terms of lack of complete information or disclosure with respect to the trade that the remedy is to rescind the trade, and you saw that baseball rule operate,” Manfred says, referring to the partially-rescinded trade between the Padres and Marlins involving now-injured Colin Rea. (Rea originally headed from the Padres to the Marlins with Andrew Cashner and Tayron Guerrero for Carter Capps, Jarred Cosart, Josh Naylor and Luis Castillo, then headed back to the Padres for Castillo alone.) “Once that happens the rule in baseball has always been that we do not reconfigure trades. Figuring out exactly what happened when is extraordinarily difficult if not impossible. And even if we can figure that out, we are not institutionally capable of deciding who would have traded what for what.”