The Cubs and No-Trade Clauses
There was a brief discussion in the comments earlier this week about general manager Jim Hendry's liberal use of the no-trade clause. Reader WISCGRAD did the legwork to see if indeed Hendry hands them out like a lollipop after leaving the doctor's office or if it's line with other ballclubs.
No-trade clauses in player contracts are controversial. On the one hand, they are often necessary to attract or keep high-value free agents. On the other hand, towards the end of player’s career a team may wish to trade a player whose skills have declined, but are unable to do so. No-trade clauses can range from full – where the player must approve any trade during the length of the contract – to limited – where the player has no-trade rights for a specified period of time or to specific teams. Making the issue more complicated, the current collective bargaining agreement between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball automatically grants a player full no-trade rights if he has 10 or more years of major league service time and has been with his current team for 5 or more years. The following table lists all players with no-trade rights for the entire 2009 season. This excludes those players who recently signed as free agents and cannot be traded until June. The information was taken from Cot’s Baseball Contracts, and each player was coded for the type of no-trade that applies to the 2009 season only. As one can see, with only a few exceptions, these are the cream of the crop of major league players (ed note - it's important to remember that the details of no-trade provisions or even their existence are not always made public and the information on Cot's Baseball Contracts should not be considered 100% reliable, but more as a good guide).
|Gary Mathews Jr.||Angels||Full|
|Scott Rolen||Blue Jays||Full|
|Vernon Wells||Blue Jays||Full|
|Alex Rios||Blue Jays||Full|
|J.D. Drew||Red Sox||Limited|
|David Ortiz||Red Sox||10/5|
|Mike Lowell||Red Sox||Full|
|Daisuke Matsuzaka||Red Sox||Full|
|Jason Varitek||Red Sox||10/5|
|Tim Wakefield||Red Sox||10/5|
|Mark Buehrle||White Sox||Limited|
|Jim Thome||White Sox||Full|
|Paul Konerko||White Sox||10/5|
|Jermaine Dye||White Sox||Limited|
|A.J. Pierzynski||White Sox||Full|
|Scott Linebrink||White Sox||Full|
The Cubs have the second-most players who cannot be traded this year (8), trailing only the Yankees (9). The Marlins and Nationals do not have any players on their current rosters with no-trade rights for 2009. It would seem that teams with higher payrolls are able to attract the type of free agent talent that demands no-trade clauses. They are able to pay higher salaries and commit to longer contracts. These teams are also able to keep players for longer periods of time and thus accumulate more players with ten-five rights. The graph below illustrates this point. The teams are ordered from left to right based on their 2009 opening day payrolls. One can clearly see the concentration of players with no-trade rights towards the large-market, high payroll teams on the right side of the graph (Click for a larger view).
Does having too many of these types of players on the roster limit a team’s flexibility and hinder its ability to win? There is no doubt that in some cases a team would gain more by being able to trade a particular player, however, across baseball having no-trade players is indicative of success, not failure. This is not due to the presence of these players themselves, but the fact that they predominantly play for large market, high-payroll teams as outlined above. Yet it is important to note that having too many types of these players does not appear to drag a team down. The graph below orders teams from left to right based on the total number of combined wins in 2007-2008. While the relationship is not as stark as the payroll relationship, one can still clearly see the winningest teams in baseball, concentrated on the far right of the graph, have a significant proportion of the no-trade players on 2009 rosters.
Quick Cubs news note from Rob G. here...Milton Bradley had his suspension reduced to one game and will serve it today. Convenient how MLB waited unti lthe middle of a game he wasn't penciled in the starting lineup to finally hand out its decision. Bradley is naturally upset.
"It figures," he said Thursday. "I never get treated fairly. It's exactly what I expected."
Bradley may have a point when you see that MLB doesn't plan to suspend ump Paul Schreiber for shoving Magglio Ordonez in the back.
crunch 6 hours 54 min ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 10 hours 36 min ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 15 hours 50 min ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 22 hours 16 sec ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).
Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.
I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.
Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.
Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better.
Hagsag 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Thanks wrigley rat.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:
RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN
Childersb3 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?
Hagsag 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.
tim815 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.
crunch 3 days 5 hours ago (view)
bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.
as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.
it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.
Cubster 4 days 5 hours ago (view)
Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.