The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline has become an annual tradition for MLB organizations and fans alike. The flurry of activity that typically takes place has only heightened in recent years, with front offices more willing than ever to yield highly coveted prospects.
Even beyond that date, the possibility for further transactions exists in the form of August trade waivers. Last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers took advantage of them by acquiring David Freese and Ryan Madson just prior to the deadline.
Making similar moves in that fashion could soon be a thing of the past, as according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, MLB general managers recently discussed the idea of eliminating trade waivers in favor for a uniform trade deadline:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 5, 2018
It isn’t clear as to whether such a proposal gained traction during the general manager meetings, but as Morosi notes, any potential changes will come down to union approval.
Establishing one uniform trade deadline would be a major shift in strategy for the league. Most prominent players are typically moved in July, where teams can freely negotiate with the entire league as opposed to August, to which they’re limited to one in the event a player is claimed off waivers.
Moreover, moving the trade deadline to mid-August would hypothetically open the door for even more deals to take place down the road. An extra two weeks is beneficial as it allows front offices to get a better idea of whether to buy or sell at a later point in the season.
Eliminating August trade waivers alone figures to motivate additional deals, as clubs won’t have the luxury of claiming players should they miss out on a target in July or decide to stand pat.