One of the most exciting times of the Major League Baseball season is July 31 – the MLB trade deadline. Teams remotely within striking distance of the playoffs buckle down and look for ways to improve their club. Often times we see teams in contention trading prospects to clubs who are out of the pennant race and looking to obtain payroll flexibility by trading away veteran contracts.
It is usually this time of year that sees general managers lay the groundwork for their ultimate firing as teams are more than willing to mortgage the future to win immediately. Instead of showing faith in their system and developmental team, they look for the instant fix to whatever concerns they may have for their team.
At the 2014 trade deadline, two of the busiest teams in baseball were the Oakland Athletics and the Detroit Tigers. The A’s set out to improve their rotation as they acquired aces Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester to bolster their run to the playoffs. Likewise, the Tigers acquired arguably the best left-handed starter in the game – David Price.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals took the “what you see is what you get” approach with their team. In fact, the only moves the two teams made remotely close to the trade deadline was on July 24 when the Royals sent INF/OF Jimmy Paredes to Baltimore in exchange for cash.
As the two teams made a push to the playoffs, they do so by showing confidence in the team they had in place – even in spite of some monumental injuries (Matt Wieters, Manny Machado). Instead of risking their future by trading away pieces of their club to improve immediately, general managers Dan Duquette (Orioles) and Dayton Moore (Royals) held their ground and showed confidence in their managers and players – and they have been vastly rewarded.
During a time usually focused on contenders making rash decisions and trading in an effort to improve their team, these two clubs went against the fold and were much better off for it. Not only are the Orioles and Royals reaping the benefits this year, but their ability to keep their core players around going forward will be monumental for the growth of their organization. Thanks to their approaches, there is no reason to expect anything less than continued success going forward.
Cover Photo: Getty Images
Latest posts by Grant E. Doepel (see all)
- Podcast: Is It Time To Be Worried About The Kentucky Wildcats? - January 18, 2016
- PODCAST: Predicting the NFL Wild Card Round - January 7, 2016
- NFL Picks: Week 1 - September 10, 2015