MLB Altering Rules to Allow Sign-and-Trades?

by Ben Cook on February 16, 2009

The slow market for type A free agents such as Orlando Hudson, Orlando Cabrera, and Juan Cruz might lead Major League Baseball to alter the rules surrounding the trade of free agents, effectively opening the door for sign-and-trade agreements.

Currently, free agents are not allowed to be traded until June 15th, however FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the players union would be open to allowing players, specifically Cruz, to waive that right. Since signing a type A free agent requires a team to give up their first round draft pick as compensation, the market for Cruz and others has been incredibly slow. The Twins, Dodgers, and Brewers have all been rumored to be interested in Cruz, but have made it clear they don’t want to give up a first round pick in order to sign him.

Assuming the players union and MLB actually do change the rules, Cruz’s agent would then negotiate with any interested teams. Once the terms of a deal were agreed upon, the Diamondbacks would negotiate with the interested team to determine what compensation (presumably a player worth slightly less than a first round pick) the D’backs would receive. Cruz would then re-sign with Arizona (thus negating any type A triggered loss of draft picks) and be imediately traded to a new team. is reporting that a sign-and-trade deal is being discussed in regards to Cruz, however, there’s no word on whether other type A free agents will seek a similar agreement.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia February 16, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I find it odd that they are looking at this sort of deal just for Cruz. Why just him and not others?

RumorMill February 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Julia, I think the White Sox and D’backs are hoping that teams will still sign Cabrera and Hudson. Infielders are generally viewed as more valuable than middle relievers and thus more likely for a team to give up a draft pick for em.

However, the longer the two remain unsigned, the more likely I think their team will be to try and get anything for them, even if it’s not a first round pick.

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