With all of the hype leading up to the July 31st trade deadline, it is hard not to feel a little bit of a let down when the calender flips to August. The trade non-waiver trade deadline is a lot like Christmas. We spend the day "unwrapping" rumors and learning about trades - some big, some small - that are going down and, if we're lucky, our teams may even land a nice gift.
Once the non-waiver trade deadline passes, it can be easy to slump back in your chair and feel like there isn't much else to look forward to - not very different from how you might have felt after those cold December 26th mornings. Luckily for all of the baseball junkies out there, August is still a busy time of the year both on and off of the field. Jim Bowden outlines some of the challenges that GM's continue to face.
Jim Bowden actually lists seven things, but I'm just going to touch on a few of them.
1. Draft pick negotiations - the deadline to sign draft picks is 11:59 pm on August 15th. Many teams will go to the wire in negotiations with their top selections - sometimes resulting in celebration and other times ending up with an eye toward the next year's compensation pick.
2. Arizona Fall League rosters - Teams will send a few of their top prospects to the Arizona Fall League to get some extra instruction and/or seasoning. We obviously won't see any action or check any stats until after the MLB season is over, but it is still exciting to see which prospects your team is going to send and the guys they will compete against.
3. Waiver wire - just because the July 31st trade deadline passed, it doesn't mean trades can't be made. The last day that a team can trade a player is actually August 31st. It is more complicated, but we will still see players moved.
4. September call-ups - Rosters expand on the first of September and marks the start of several prospects' careers. Contenders may not be terribly interested in giving their young players gobs of playing time down the stretch, but those that are out of races are happy to let their prospects gain some valuable experience.
Even though there isn't one day or one particular event that can match the excitement or hype of the non-waiver trade deadline, there are a lot of important decisions that GM's and organizations need to make as they prepare for a World Series push or put themselves in position to contend in the future.