With the Colorado Rockies and the rest of Major League Baseball looking ahead to the All-Star Game, let’s not forget that there is a major change taking place this year that will affect all of the action associated with July 31’s trade deadline.
Colorado Rockies fans will notice that I referenced merely a “trade deadline” above rather a “non-waiver trade deadline” as there has been in the past. In seasons past, July 31 was known as the non-waiver Trade Deadline. That meant, while trades happened up until July 31, players could also be traded after that date if they first cleared revocable trade waivers.
This season, that changes thanks to a new rule. This season (and moving forward for the foreseeable future), the July 31 (at 4 p.m. ET) trade deadline will now be the only trade deadline. According to MLB.com, “Players may still be placed and claimed on outright waivers after July 31, but trades will no longer be permitted after that date. With regards to newly acquired players, the Aug. 31 postseason roster deadline remains in effect.”
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With that in mind, fans can expect teams like the Rockies to be evaluating their postseason chances more and more heading into the trade deadline and perhaps willing to gamble a little more knowing that July 31 will be the only deadline where a trade can happen.
As a note, the majority of Colorado’s trades in the past have happened before July 31. That includes last year’s acquisition of reliever Seunghwan Oh from the Toronto Blue Jays on July 26. However, there was one very notable one that happened during the August time frame. That would be when Larry Walker was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals on August 7, 2004.
Another recent example of an August trade that made a huge impact was Detroit shipping Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros on August 31, 2017, just before the postseason roster deadline went into effect.
The biggest reason for the switch? As Ken Rosenthal wrote in The Athletic …
"“The idea, first proposed by the union, is to protect the competitive integrity of the 162-game regular season, create more certainty for players and force teams to decide earlier whether they are buyers or sellers.”"
With the Rockies sitting at 44-43 heading into Saturday’s game in Arizona and one of seven teams sitting 3.5 games or less back of a National League Wild Card spot, this will a very interesting new twist on the trade deadline and, as Rosenthal said, could force Colorado to make its mind up quickly just how “in” it wants to be when it comes to acquiring new talent.