Scout’s Take: Taking An Aster-Risk

Sometimes, what has always worked in the past just doesn’t fit the situation you are in today. What has turned into a mediocre attempt at a normal baseball season, has brought us to the always exciting “Trade deadline.” But is this a big gamble this year for teams who will attempt to go “All In,” for the next few weeks of a 60 game schedule

Would you be willing to trade away seven (7) major league players and seven prospects from your talent rich player development system, to win this year? Well, that is exactly what the San Diego Padres did in the past few days. I ask this question, is it worth it?

My boss, the great baseball man Tom “T-bone” Giordano, who was at the highest levels in the game for over 70 years would always tell me two things about trades. One: “No one is untouchable, if they have what you want, make the deal and that if you want ‘filet mignon’ you have to give up ‘filet mignon.'” The second thing was: “They are just prospects. Some may turn out good and some may turn out bad. Get what you need to win now.”

I’m just wondering if this 60 game schedule with 7-inning double headers, will be looked at as a legitimate major league season? There have been six other years where MLB did not complete a full season. Both the 1918 and 1919 seasons were cut short because of World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic. 1918 was unique in that it would be the last World Series championship for the Boston Red Sox, until 2004 when they broke the curse of trading their star pitcher, Babe Ruth, in 1920. 1919 was equally interesting in that it was the year that the Chicago White Sox threw the fall classic to the Cincinnati Reds and saw many of it’s players banned from the game for life. Teams played approximately 126 games in 1918 and 140 in 1919.

In the shortened 1972 season, teams played approximately 155 games. In 1981, the season saw teams play about 107 games and lastly in 1994 teams played between 115 and 113 games. Never have we seen a 60 game schedule. All of those shortened seasons, except for 1994 had a World Series Champion. Most of us have forgotten those years, unless you were a fan of the winners. I believe the only thing we will remember this 2020 season for will be the pandemic. I mean think about it, unlike those other years, there are no fans in the ballparks today who can prove that they actually played the games. Just joking but hopefully you get my point. Kind of like that question: “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to see or hear it fall, did it really fall?”

Would you consider it a legitimate championship season this year for the eventual winner? There will be teams that may not even finish 60 games. Do they still get invited to the dance in October? I’m just asking, is it worth trading valuable prospects in your system for a 24 game rental in a season that will be forgotten except for it being 60 games. I mean, how many of those players, that will help you win it all, will be retained next year when we hopefully have a 162 game season?

The deals made by the Padres’ GM AJ Preller are good for his team and made sense for the teams who got b back those prospects. I respect the fact that he never stops trying to make his team better. That holds true for most GM’s in every normal baseball season. But obviously, there is nothing normal about this year. Again, is it worth it for a season and a World Series that will be marked with a giant asterisk?

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