How do players change teams in MLB?

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by aloisius, Oct 18, 2003.

  1. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    As there is no salary cap in Basseball, is it possible
    to buy out a player's contract, similar to a trasfer fee in soccer? Or is trading the only way to switch teams for players under contract? If so, do the salaries of the players have to match?
  2. kwik1980

    kwik1980 New Member

    May 27, 2003
    Norwich, NY
    The team holding a players contract can buy it out, but another team can't make an offer for it. A player can move via trades, signing as a free agent (think of a free transfer), or being claimed by waivers.

    Waivers...If you look at all the teams in the major leagues, they have 3-5 feeder teams in what are called the minor leagues, broken up into classifications (AAA being the players who are closest to being ready to play in the major leagues, "A" being players just starting out professionally ) If a major league team wants to send a player from their team to a minor league team, the player might have to pass through waivers first. When a player goes through waivers, he can be claimed by any other team. At that point, the teams either work out a trade for the claimed player, the claming team just assumes the contract of the player, or, in certain circumstances, the initial team can withdraw the player from waivers. I'm not sure I have the exact right process here, but it's close enough.

    Trades don't have to be even. Usually you will see a star player dealt for younger prospects, or a combination of players and cash. If a trade is too one-sided, the comissioner could intervene (for example, you probably won't see the Yankees pick up Sammy Sosa for $25 and a couple cases of baseballs)
  3. Metros Striker10

    Metros Striker10 New Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Planet Earth
    MLB uses the trading method. Since there's no salary cap, there's no real worry about the contract size. Smaller clubs have a somewhat limited cap which is based on what the owner wants to spend (I think). Teams like the Yanks and Red Sox really don't have much to worry when it comes to contract sizes.

    If a player's contract runs out in the offseason, a team can sign a player like they do in soccer. ( Ex. The Yankees signed Mike Mussina in 2001 and Jason Giambi in 2002.)

  4. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    So if a combination of cash and players is allowed isn't that a stealth transfer fee? Is it possible to put a player in a trade who is not even close to the quality of the player going in the other direction to make it officially a trade, even if it's actually a big club buying a player from a smaller team
  5. kwik1980

    kwik1980 New Member

    May 27, 2003
    Norwich, NY
    I suppose so. You can look at it as a transfer fee, but I'm not totally sure that the comparison fits, because players aren't just thrown in to a deal to make it a trade, as opposed to a straight transfer for cash, which I don't believe is allowed. Scouting is done prior to a deal happening.
    Lets create a hypothetical trade (The players are all real, but I'm not doing any comparisons at all for fairness, or making sure that positions are correct):

    The NY Mets are going to get Torii Hunter from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Dave Byard and Matt Peterson (Pitchers in the Mets system), and cash. Byard and Peterson are nowhere near the status of Hunter. The reasons for this trade could be that Minnesota, being a team with a smaller payroll, needs to move Hunter to free up salary space (which the cash from the Mets will help with too), or maybe Hunter's contract is up, and if they don't get something for him now, they'll get nothing when he leaves as a free agent. The gamble that the Twins are taking is that Byard and Peterson are going to develop into quality players. If the Twins are willing to swap Hunter for Byard and Peterson, they think there is the possibility that the deal will pay off in the long run.
  6. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Is a following situation possible: a low budget team signs a unknown young player to a 4 year contract.. He plays a great first season. Then a big club offers to trade a player they don't need and money for that young prospect. What would happen?
  7. amerifolklegend

    amerifolklegend New Member

    Jul 21, 1999
    Oakley, America
    That happens all the time in baseball.

    A baseball trade doesn't have any rules on what can be traded. In the early part of last century, it wasn't uncommon to trade a guy for a case of baseballs or a couple cases of beer.

    The only thing that makes a trade in MLB is one player going to another team. There technically doesn't have to be anything in return.

    In fact, one of my favorite things in baseball is the neft-seen 'player-for-himself' trade. This is when a team sends a guy to another team for a 'player to be named later.' At the end of the season, that same player is sent back to his original team as the guy that has been named, now that it's 'later.' No cash is exchanged and no other player is involved.

    And as far as a player's contract being up at the end of the season, it's not as cut and dry as Metros Striker makes it. There is the matter of Free-agency rules that only allows certain players to simply walk free. Most of the time, a player is free to seek other options but his team has the chance to match any offer he recieves. Should they do this, he is obligated to return to that team.

    It's very complicated and you need a law degree to understand the entire trade process in MLB.
  8. soccernutter

    soccernutter Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    Don't drink beer but like cheese
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not really. Technically, all transferes are reviewed and apporved by the commissioner (I think), and if it looks too much like a player for cash deal, it will be denied (I've seen it happen, but not for a while, though since I haven't followed baseball much recently).
  9. JG

    JG Member+

    Jun 27, 1999
    Money does change hands sometimes in trades, but buying and selling players isn't nearly as common as it was in the old days.

    In the 1970's, the Oakland A's tried to sell some of their top players to the Yankees and the Red Sox for a couple million dollars...the commisioner of baseball voided the deal.
  10. Craig P

    Craig P BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 26, 1999
    Eastern MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It depends. Sometimes cash is transferred to help cover salary obligations, although this is more commonly handled by one club simply assuming part of the salary. However, sometimes it is nothing more than a transfer of cash, and while pure cash-for-players deals don't seem to be kosher with the office of the commish, there's really nothing wrong with some cash going to balance the books. It's not referred to as a transfer fee, but it's not really any different conceptually.
  11. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm pretty sure a pure cash for player trade is still allowed. It just doesn't happen much.
  12. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You got that right.

    Trades can also involve a team paying part of a players contract. For example, the Mets had Anaheim pay Mo Vaughn's base salary when they traded him to the Mets. Then there are buy out options and whole mess of other crap.
    Can you make this happen by any chance?

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