TheAthletic- The switch to a single non-waiver deadline on July 31, which according to sources will be among the rules changes Major League Baseball and the players’ union adopt this season, will eliminate the indecipherable trade waivers in August, baseball’s version of the U.S. tax code.
The idea, first proposed by the union, is to protect the competitive integrity of the 162-game regular season, create more certainty for players and force teams to decide earlier whether they are buyers or sellers.
As someone whose eye doesn't often behold the beauty of baseball during any month other than October, I'm typically pretty hard on a league as ruthlessly repressed by oft-unwritten rules as the MLB. That being said, I'm not one to deny credit where it's due, and - boy, oh boy - is credit due here.
I mean, the level of compromise is almost unparalleled. Only one deadline? Not even one post-deadline deadline? Surely there are more pressing matters like making sure every player who shows emotion in the heat of the moment feels the wrath of doing so, but deciding they could benefit from bringing a little clarity to their competitive integrity? What a novel concept! Cutting the amount of single, solitary cut-offs for prominent player movement down to...a single and solitary cut-off for prominent player movement? How the hell did they ever come up with such a profoundly unique idea? Talk about risqué! Only giving organizations one final opportunity, after four months of watching their teams play damn near daily, to decide whether or not their current roster is either worthy of improvement or demanding of destruction? I'm not sure those profiting hand over iron fist as Major League executives are ready for that type of pressure, but I sure am willing to find out!
Honestly, I'd love to sit here and mock the self-proclaimed stellar reputation of the MLB, but I can't help but commend them for finally discovering the definition of the word 'deadline'. If you're not progressing then you're regressing, and how can you even argue that they haven't pulled miles ahead of their competition by pioneering the introduction of clear-cut, cutthroat consequences to the business of professional sports?
Ring the stale booze out of what was Justin Verlander's month and a half old Astros' jersey, because making it so that you can't drastically alter the outcome of the imminent postseason by doing the equivalent of being eligible for an A+ while turning in your paper laughably late is worthy of a cheers!