The 2017 non-waiver trade deadline is only five days away. We've already seen a handful of big deals and more are likely on the way. Several big names, including Rangers ace Yu Darvish and Athletics ace Sonny Gray, are very much available.
This is the time of year when every little thing a trade candidate does gets magnified. One good game or one bad game can change a lot of opinions, it seems. Gray, for example, made what may have been his final start with the A's on Tuesday. He allowed four runs, all unearned, in six innings and struck out nine. What does it mean? Well, not much, really.
Fans and analysts are quick to react to one performance and say a player helped or hurt his trade stock. It happens a lot during the postseason as well. This impending free agent made himself a lot of money with a good postseason performance. Teams don't think like that. They take a big picture view rather than react to one game.
Hard to have a better pre-deadline audition than that, right? Dominate the best team in baseball and smack a grand slam? There was a lot of chatter Garcia had improved his trade stock after that performance.
Then, three days later, Garcia was traded (Twins for a midrange pitching prospect with a 5.26 ERA in rookie ball this season. That doesn't seem like a whole lot, does it? That prospect, Huascar Ynoa, does not currently rank among the Braves' top 30 prospects, per MLB.com.) to the
That's because, as great as Garcia was against the Dodgers, he is still fundamentally the same Jaime Garcia. He's no different right now than he was 10 days ago. Garcia is a quality major-leaguer who has had performances like that before and will have performances like that again. He wasn't traded for much because he's a rental with an ugly injury history.
Realistically, the only way one individual game can drastically change a player's trade stock is injury. If a player gets hurt a week before the deadline, it's going to crash his market. Otherwise teams have a big picture view and a lot of history with a player. Last Friday's game against L.A. was not the first time the Twins or any other team had scouted Garcia. They knew him.
So, as the trade deadline inches closer, keep all this in mind. One good game or even a few good games isn't going to change a player's value. And the same goes for a few bad games. Teams have formed opinions and valuations of these players long before this last week.