I imagine that baseball’s army of writers, both national and beat guys, are glad that’s over for another year. As exciting as it must be to cover, I can only imagine how draining it must be in the week leading up to the trade deadline. Having to work long hours talking to executives, scouts, other writers, fans and even players who all want to swap information may not exactly be a thankless task but it must be a difficult juggling act. In what I believe I’m contractually obligated to refer to as ‘The Age of Twitter’, there is so much information out there that I’m happy to tip my cap to the very best in the business for the sheer quality and quantity of their output over the last few days.

Personally I love the hype and drama of the deadline, but I have noticed a few things about the way we approach it as fans that are worth looking at more closely.

Those prospects you like? They’re available.

I think the vast majority of my eye rolling leading up to 4pm (ET) on Sunday was in some way linked to my belief in this statement. I’m not sure any one team are worse than the others in this respect but this year it seemed that it was the Yankees and Braves prospects who were most frequently being declared off limits. I understand that there is a fair amount of posturing going on here and wouldn’t expect any GM to really be that rigid in his strategy, but the frequency with which we hear that a prospect is ‘untouchable’ is fairly galling to me. Worse still is when we’re told that a whole slew of names are immovable and they turn out to be the best handful of players in that team’s system.

Prospects are highly valuable commodities but, in the right deal, none of them are off limits. If the Phillies inexplicably decided they’d seen enough of Roy Halladay, you can bet Jesus Montero might suddenly become available. Evan Longoria somehow outstays his welcome in Tampa Bay? Suddenly Mike Trout is on the table. Extreme examples maybe, but let’s stop pretending that quite so many young players are impossible to prise loose. If you want an elite major league talent, it’s probably going to cost you the players you’d least like to see leave the farm. That’s just the cost of doing business.

Who is your source on this exactly?

As I’ve said, I think the vast majority of writers do a fine job in bringing us up to date trade news which is as accurate as realistically possible. However, watching things develop on Twitter does make you wonder at times. On several occasions over the weekend I’d see Writer A tweet something along the lines of ‘Source tells me that H.Simpson could be on his way to Shelbyville Shelbyvillians for prospects’ only to see that a little while later Writer B is tweeting ‘Hearing that the Shelbyvillains could be putting together a package to acquire H.Simpson’. Now these writers all have a contact book that I can only dream of, but once in a while I do wonder if their source is the same one I’m using.

Some teams will always baffle you.

The Astros are finally rebuilding and so have traded their best two everyday players. For Hunter Pence they got a pair of top quality prospects and some throw ins. For the equally good (and probably superior) Michael Bourn they received what can loosely be described as ‘Whoever the Braves could find laying around’.

The Red Sox wanted a starting pitcher to cover for injuries and ineffectivness in their rotation and so acquired Erik Bedard for a top prospect. Strangely they managed to do it using another team’s top prospect as the Dodgers became inexplicably involved in the trade.

I’m sure we’ll see a repeat of the frenetic fun and games this time next year. I can’t wait.

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