Major League Baseball has made a rule change that will allow drafted players to be traded after the World Series in the season they were drafted, rather than a full year after signing, reports Dave Cameron of Fangraphs.
The most recent case in which this rule came into play was in December when the Padres traded 2014 MLB draft first round pick Trea Turner to the Nationals in a three-team trade that landed them outfielder Wil Myers. Turner was listed as a player to be named later in the trade and has spent the first month of the season with San Diego's Double-A affiliate in San Antonio.
The rule change will not affect Turner himself, who will be with the Padres until mid-June, as the first group of players affected will be the 2015 draft class, but will prevent any other young players being lame ducks in organizations that have already traded them, instead allowing recent draft picks to join new organizations for Spring Training.
Another recent example of the rule coming into play was when the Indians traded 2010 first round pick Drew Pomeranz to the Rockies as a player to be named later in the Ubaldo Jimenez with roughly a month left before Pomeranz was officially eligible to be traded. Pomeranz made multiple starts in the Indians organization after the trade was confirmed.
The rule change closes a loophole that was beneficial to no one, as it complicated negotiations for teams in making trades and left recent draft picks in limbo if they were involved in a trade during their first year as a professional. With the new deadline in effect, things should be much easier for teams and players going forward.