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.
Tom is a Ted Cruz look alike.
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts on why the Cubs didn't spend more money this offseason on the free-agent market: "Pretty easy. We don’t have any more.''
that said, it's a strong team...can't complain too much, though they're playing very loose and fast with the patchwork pen "fixes."
let's hope it goes better than the 5th or 6th time someone has "fixed" jason heyward's swing.
Interesting, this appears to the year of mechanical fixes in the staff, Quintana's toe point and new confidence in his changeup, Hamel's fixes, Chatwood's double pump, wondering if other fixes are in store from the new pitching regime.
That I am sure is an under statement.
I've never really thought about Theo's politics. But I assume it's not the politics of Joe Ricketts.
I only spend baseball money on MLB.tv and tickets when the Cubs come to town (away games). So, like you, there's very little way for me to cut back on spending without just changing team loyalty. I'm still irked.
Baseball is such a silly thing to care about, though. And they keep presenting ethical roadblocks to that whimsy.
m.moosetacos returns to the brewers for 1/10m
I saw in Bleacher Report that Miguel Amaya is in camp. Picture of him with the Red Baron.
Charlie, Crunch; yep...gotta wonder how much Theo chafes working for these folks...
"Montgomery has been limited to long toss early in camp due to shoulder stiffness. Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said the southpaw could resume throwing bullpens in two or three days."
also, j.tazawa isn't expected until monday because of visa issues...
add the leaked joe ricketts racist-and-xenophobic-beyond-all-hell emails to the mix and you got a hell of an off-season. it's bigger news than the 100 nickle and dime contracts they added, anyway.
many (most) people will overlook this, but a chunk of the ricketts family not only talks the talk of their socially immoral beliefs (imo), they put money and labor behind pushing it...and it didn't just start this offseason.
With Russell's press conference and the Cubs deal with Sinclair both coming near the end of a very slow offseason, I'm having a very hard time getting excited for spring training. Curious what other's think about these issues going forward? I really would like none of my money going to Sinclari. Russell's continued non-admission of specific acts is par for the course but still undercuts his statements about being accountable. Do you all find this issues obstacles to enjoying baseball, too?
Brailyn Marquez and Yovanny Cruz were the two best Cubs pitching prospects at Extended Spring Training last year. Cruz throws a mid-90's two-seamer and a hard-slider and probably projects as a reliever at the higher levels, unless he can find a reliable off-speed pitch.
erich081: Dakota Mekkes is in a similar position as James Norwood this time last year, meaning he is Rule 5 Draft eligible after the season so adding him to the 40 could happen at any time, especially if the Cubs need a bullpen arm and Mekkes is pitching well at AAA Iowa.
PHIL: What’s your impressions of Yovanny Cruz? I’ve read his breaking ball is devastating. Also, is Luke Reynolds out your way? Do you think he has the goods to be a successful MLB player?