History of the MLB Trading Deadline

According to MLB, “The non-waiver Major League trading deadline has been July 31st since the 1986 season. Prior to that season, the non-waiver deadline for trades within each League was June 15th and there were also distinctions between when intraleague and interleague trades could be made. Waivers were necessary at all times for interleague trades, with the exception of two non-waiver interleague trading periods: February 15 – April 1 and 5 days after conclusion of World Series – the day before the last scheduled day of the Winter Meetings.

The first appearance of a trade deadline in the Major Leagues came when the National League established a deadline of August 20th in 1917. After that date, a player had to clear NL waivers before being traded. The American League followed suit in 1920, but with a deadline of July 1st. The following year, both the AL and NL agreed on a deadline of August 1st. On December 14, 1922, the deadline was changed to June 15th after gaining approval at the Joint Major League meetings held at the Hotel Commodore in New York. It would stay June 15th until after the 1985 season. In 1953, the interleague trading rules were amended as to require waivers between June 15th and the conclusion of the championship season. The first non-waiver interleague trading period was created for the 1959 off-season and it was from November 21–December 15. In 1970, the start of the period was moved to begin 5 days after the World Series instead of November 21. Seven years later, a second non-waiver interleague trading period was created, February 15–March 15. In 1981, that period was extended through April 1 and was in effect until all distinctions between interleague and intraleague trading were abolished prior to the 1986 season.”

Players may be traded between Major League Clubs until 4:00 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, July 31st without Major League waivers in effect.

In July between 2000 and July 25 of 2012, the San Diego Padres have made the most trades, a total of 38 and on the other end of the spectrum, the Angels have made the fewest deals, just 11. The Minnesota Twins have made the second fewest number of trades in that time frame, just 13 but the Francisco Liriano trade the other day would add one to the total. Looking at the rest of the AL Central, the Tigers have made 15 deals, the White Sox have made 25 not counting the recent Liriano deal, the Royals have swung 26 deals and the Indians lead the division with 27 trades. It appears that the addition of two wild card spots this season has deceased the amount of deals but we still have time to bring that number up.

The following table tracks the number of trades that have occurred between June 1-July 31. Three-way trades are counted as one trade.

YEAR Trades between June 1 and July 31
2012 36
2011 33
2010 40
2009 36
2008 25
2007 33
2006 42
2005 30
2004 41
2003 34
2002 32
2001 41
2000 42
1999 28
1998 40
1997 23

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

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