July 24, 2021

What the MLB trade deadline could look like in a shortened season (Pinstripe Alley)

Unsurprisingly, every MLB restart plan that has leaked thus far has been dissected and cross-examined by public baseball analysts. Questions like “Did Hitter X change his swing this winter?” and “Can opponents figure out Pitcher Y’s new breaking ball?” have been replaced with endless discussion of a potential shortened 2020 season. We’ve certainly indulged in some amount of analysis of pandemic baseball here.

One aspect of a shortened season I’ve yet to see interrogated is that of the trade deadline. Either MLB has yet to come up with a plan for this season’s deadline, or said plan simply hasn’t been publicly reported as of now.

Without confirmation of what a transaction deadline looks like in at the age of coronavirus, it’s anyone’s guess how the league will choose to handle it. Just when the deadline falls, how many games the season consists of, and whether trades will even be allowed will have a significant impact on teams’ behavior at the deadline.

The latest MLB plan suggested an abbreviated 82-game season, one that would see seven teams per league qualify for the postseason. Typically, the trade deadline falls on July 31st, two-thirds of the way…

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