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It’s patience over passion ahead of MLB trade deadline

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TSN Baseball Insider


I was frenetic at the trade deadline during my days as a general manager, especially when I was a buyer.

I was aggressive and anxious to close the deal that could propel my club to the playoffs. I knew I was competing against other general managers for many of the same trade targets. This was my time to compete. I couldn’t get a hit, make a play in the field or throw a pitch. My way of competing was to make the best deal possible, to help us win as many games as possible. I expected everyone else in the organization to lay it on the line every day and I needed to do the same thing.

Times have changed. I’m amazed by the patience of general managers today. They don’t make decisions based on passion and competitiveness. They make decisions based upon valuations and analytics. They’re willing to walk away from deals to protect tomorrow, even when today screams for action.

I completely understand and support the logical and rational thinking of this generation of baseball executives, but my experience is that tomorrow isn’t always predictable. A GM can do everything right, but things happen beyond his control that can ruin the best of plans: injuries, illness, underperformance, etc. I believe you should go for it if you have a legitimate chance to win today because so much can go wrong next year.

The Boston Red Sox are proof of that logic. They have almost the exact same team this year as last, but the results have been dramatically different. I’m not proposing to give up the farm to go for it, but there is a time to pay a premium for another shot at glory.

Waiting on Stroman

The Blue Jays are still waiting for someone to take their shot at glory by trading for Marcus Stroman, but there has been very little action as the trade deadline approaches next Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

I’m on the record as saying that I would have created a sense of urgency around Stroman with a self-imposed deadline coming out of the All-Star break, trying to trigger some of the competitive juices of the general managers. It appears Toronto’s front office has chosen the same path of patience as every other team. That doesn’t mean the Blue Jays won’t make a good deal, but in my opinion the end doesn’t justify the means.

Fortunately, Stroman has pitched well in his past two starts. His value could have gone down if he........