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what’s the trade market hold-up now?

MELTING ICE?  A couple walks by puddles from snow melt along the Coney Island boardwalk on a spring afternoon on March 23, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While next week should finally start to show a thaw transactions and player movement, it is still reasonable to ask ‘what’s taking so long?’

Yes – we’ve said it: it’s not unusual at all to have a lull in baseball news between Christmas and New Years Day… and the Atlanta Braves are no different.  Trouble is, there’s a whole lot of work still to do between now and the start of Spring Training and the days are truly running short once January 2nd brings everyone back into the office.

As it happens, General Managers are never completely ‘off the clock’.  Former Mets GM Steve Phillips spoke recently (no link – MLB Network Radio) about his trade to acquire Mo Vaughn.  That happened on Dec. 27, 2001 and involved some complex contract language that had to be resolved.

As Phillips recounted the event, he was sleep deprived at various points along the way and recalled being on the phone around 4am New York time on Christmas Day morning to speak with a Mets’ ownership member who was in England at the time.  After speaking some gibberish, Phillips was advised to get some rest and call back later.

It took a couple more days, but that trade did get done.

Still, while there hasn’t been any notable rumors from the Braves camp (more on that later) for some time now, there hasn’t been any actual news, either.

A glance at the Braves’ official transaction pages shows a single entry in December… and that’s only because DFA’d third baseman Rio Ruiz was claimed by Baltimore.

Before that?

  • Cash trade for catcher Raffy Lopez (Nov 1)
  • Free agent OF Ryan LaMarre (minor league contract)
  • The roster additions for Rule 5 protection (Nov 20)
  • The signings of Brian McCann and Josh Donaldson (the only additions of any significance thus far)
  • Trades of Adam McCreery (to Dodgers) and Ricardo Sanchez (to Seattle) for cash in order to make room for McCann and Donaldson (Nov. 28)

That’s it.  No right fielder.  No starting pitcher.  No relief pitcher.  No flurry of minor league contracts with Spring invites (only LaMarre and Lopez qualify on those points).

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