With the MLB's July 31st trade deadline looming and rumors constantly swirling, ESPN analyst and former GM, Jim Bowden, offers some perspective on what teams are thinking and doing as the deadline approaches.
As fans, we know a lot of the big names that are on the market. We are well aware of the Carlos Beltrans and the Heath Bells. It is often the prospects that the "selling" teams get in return though that make the biggest splashes in the long run. And it is these prospects that hold up most deals and prolong trade negotiations.
Bowden recalls his tenure as a GM for the Cincinnati Reds and talks about some of his deadline experiences as both a buyer and a seller. A deadline deal in 1995 that netted David Wells from the Detroit Tigers required over 100 discussions before completion - and that was only with his owner. Imagine that in a time long before text messaging existed.This year's sellers, the Mets, Padres, Astros, etc. Will be holding out for the top prospects of the buying teams. Guys like Randall Delgado and Mike Minor of the Atlanta Braves; Yonder Alonso of the Cincinnati Reds; Jarred Cosart and Brody Colvin of the Phillies. Buyers understandably want to hold on to their very best prospects and sellers want to get value back for their studs. This is why Bowden says that a GM needs to be able to walk away from a deal as easily as he would pull the trigger.
It is always interesting to see what deals actually happen once the deadline passes. As Bowden mentions, 95 percent of deals that GMs work on don't come to fruition. Additionally, I would add that much of that five percent is comprised of deals that the fans and media didn't see coming. As this year's deadline inches closer and closer, it will be interesting to see who changes teams. Whatever does happen, we will have a little better understanding of the behind-the-scenes process thanks to Jim Bowden's insight.