Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Trading With the Enemy

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One thing that I thought was a given, is that you don't make MLB trades with teams in your own division. Since the day the Red Sox gave the Yankees Babe Ruth, the lesson was spelled out for all to see. If you are going to trade with a a team you are directly competing with, what's the point of filling a hole in their roster only so they might come back and bite you in the rear end?

In the days leading up to this year's trading deadline, there have been several of these intra-division trades. The bottom dwellers, the usual sellers, are unloading high priced talent and the contenders are positioning themselves for the end of season push to the playoffs. There's nothing unusual about this activity, other than the transactions between teams in the same division.

The Braves sent a couple of players, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets for a couple of minor leaguers. Wha-a-at? The Mets have some of the best young starting pitchers in the game, but the Braves think nothing of helping to solve the Mets offensive woes. That doesn't make any sense to me. The Braves, once perennial playoff contenders, will have to deal with the improved Mets for the foreseeable future. Dopey.

The A's traded starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to Kansas City. Oakland is in last place, but last year played a tiebreaker with K.C. for the playoffs. Kazmir, a high priced free agent to be, is just a rental for the rest of the season, but even so, does business trump competitive rivalries in MLB now?

But, that's not enough. The A's traded jack-of-all-positions Ben Zobrist to the Royals also. Moneyballer Billy Beane doesn't seem to care how strong the Royals become. Moneyball, shmoneyball.

Today, the Phillies traded their elite close Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals! Yes, the Phils are awful, going nowhere, but come on! The Nats are division rivals, what sort of lunacy is this?

If we've learned anything in this expansion wild card parity luxury tax era, it's that bad teams can and have gone from "worst to first" from year to year. Enriching division rivals is going to make MLB start to resemble the WWE.

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