With the World Series now in the books all the teams in major league baseball are reviewing what went wrong and what they can do to make their teams better for 2013 and beyond. Two quick ways to solve some problems are by signing free agents or by making some trades. Free agency is relatively new to baseball and came into play as part of baseball’s 1976 collective bargaining agreement and changed the landscape of baseball forever. Thanks to players like Curt Flood, Catfish Hunter, Andy Messersmith, and Dave McNally players were no longer tied forever to the team that signed them to their first contract.
Baseball trades however; have taken place since baseball began. Today, outside of players that were drafted this past season and players that have no-trade clauses in their contracts, any player currently under contract can be sent packing in hopes of improving the team’s record. Trades sound simple, all you have to do is to agree on what you are willing to give up to get what you want. But that is easier said then done. In the past, trades were much easier to make than they are today, the money involved was much smaller and very few players had multi-year contracts. In the past, most trades were made strictly to improve the product on the field but in today’s world baseball trades may be made for a variety of reasons including player performance on and off the field, salaries, length of contracts, arbitration, trade demands by the player, medical issues, legal concerns, up-coming free agency deadlines and even the teams fan base needs to be considered because trading a popular player can raise all kinds of havoc with ticket sales.
The Twins made their first trade back on June 1, 1961 when owner and GM Calvin Griffith agreed to send 3B Reno Bertoia and pitcher Paul Giel to the Kansas City A’s in return for outfielder Bill Tuttle and since that time the Twins have made 276 trades, some have turned out great and others have been nothing to brag about. We all think we can make better trades than our current teams GM can but then again it is always easy to be an arm-chair quarterback and to be able to spend other people’s money.
So what about the Minnesota Twins trading history? Over the years the Twins have traded the most frequently with the Cleveland Indians (20 times) and only traded once with the Tampa Bay Rays and there are more than just a few fans that will tell you that they wish that the Twins had never traded with Tampa, but that is a whole different story. The Twins have not been able to make a deal with the Kansas City Royals since 1978, that is 34 years ago, what is up with that? I have put together a chart showing how many trades the Twins have made with each of the other teams and in which decade the deals were made.
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