The Path of Thorns

The No-Trade Claws

by on Aug.27, 2009, under baseball

I am all about employee rights and privileges, especially as a former employee who didn’t even get treated as well as I deserved.  But there’s one thing I never understood about many of today’s baseball contracts – the no-trade clause.

This clause basically states that the player cannot be traded unless he approves a possible trade, or he can limit the teams he’s traded to, which usually includes the worst teams in the league.  It’s all about winning championships, of course.

I can see how a player wants to be set, and wants to not have to change their life around – a topic I touched heavily on during my ‘trade deadline’ post back on July 31.  I totally get that.  But at the same time, why do you want to stay there when the team’s being held back financially a few years into your contract, for instance?  Wouldn’t you want to be dealt if you’re not wanted so they can have more payroll flexibility?  It’s all about winning championships much of the time, especially if you’re a highly-paid superstar, so why not be moved elsewhere where you can win?  That would not only be a win, it would be a win-win.  I could barely face myself if I knew I was hindering my own team.

Or, as another example put more vaguely, why be somewhere where you’re not wanted?  If a team wants to trade you, wouldn’t you want to leave out of principle?  No one in the world hates being where they’re not wanted more than me, so I find this fascinating.  Sure, you may love the city you play in, and you may love your teammates and the fans, but it would be too awkward and tense to show up to work everyday knowing the powers above don’t want to see you there anymore.

It’s a nice, and very very rare opportunity to have such control over your own fate.  But is it worth the possible media hype, and the awkwardness from the same people that signed you in the first place?

1 comment for this entry:
  1. Hanky Pank

    Is this about anyone in particular?

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