Here’s why you shouldn’t expect a flurry of trades immediately after MLB’s lockout ends

Baseball’s annual Hot Stove season has cooled off, frozen by a lockout that has ended all communication between teams and players until the two parties reach a resolution and sign the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

There has basically been no movement on the front of the collective bargaining agreement since the lockout went into effect in early December, so it’s hard to guess when that resolution might come. However, when it does, there are many players that still need new teams and many teams that need new players.

There are big names – hello, Carlos Correa! – and many guys at the other end of the spectrum. We could see some immediate signings; Remember, there were many conversations and negotiations leading up to the lockout that did not result in a signing before the deadline.

However, what about exchanges?

After all, front office decision makers can’t talk to players, but they can talk to other front office decision makers about potential trades, right? So we should expect a series of moves – like the Athletics eliminating most of their rotation and midline hitters Matt Olson and Matt Chapman – by the time the lockout ends and changes. the switch to retrieve the player list. profile pictures, right?


From a source in the commissioner’s office: “Clubs are not allowed to discuss possible exchanges during the work stoppage.”

So far the hopes of a series of exchanges announced in the first hour after the lockout ends.

All clubs know the restriction; They were provided with the rules that are effective during a lockout, and that includes not only a ban on player transactions, but also a ban on discussions related to player transactions.

According to the source, this is a new rule: “It is a product of the current work stoppage. We haven’t had a work stoppage since 1995. Major League Baseball transactions are essentially frozen because of that. We enforce these rules the same way we enforce all of our rules / policies. “

It doesn’t mean that we won’t see any trade announced shortly after the lockout ends. Just like the teams talked to the free agent players and their agents before the lockout began on Dec. 2, the guys in front office talked to other guys in the front office about potential trades. It’s possible that some of those discussions got to the point where all that was left was to finish the paperwork and schedule the physicals, and those could be completed quickly. And the groundwork that was established at the time could quickly turn into an agreement with a few phone conversations, after both parties had many, many weeks to reflect on the discussions.

Unofficial conversations may also occur. Maybe. Who knows? It’s fun to imagine, for example, the guys at the main office in Oakland speaking in code, something like this … “Did you hear a story about three prospects who went out West looking for gold but all they found was a bloodhound? Reliable Bassitt? ”

That would be fun.

So what happens if the rule is broken? From the source: “We do not anticipate the need to issue reminders.”

Anyway, I guess the bottom line is this: There will be exchanges after the lockout is over, but many of them may not be announced immediately after the new collective bargaining agreement is reached.