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It's been awhile since baseball has seen a true blockbuster trade. Not just a trade that's surprising, like when the Braves somehow convinced the Diamondbacks that Shelby Miller was worth Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, and Aaron Blair, but one that includes at least twice as many players as that. According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees and the Braves almost pulled one off during the 2014-2015 offseason. This ill-fated trade would have sent Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Manny Banuelos, Ian Clarkin, and Gary Sanchez to the Braves in exchange for Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons, David Carpenter, Melvin (formerly BJ) Upton and Chris Johnson. That's 10 players and a lot of talent changing hands, and both teams would have looked dramatically different after such a blockbuster.
This non-deal looks a lot like other trades the Braves have pulled off since they started their rebuild a few years ago. They ship out stars and/or highly paid players in exchange for any prospect they can get their hands on. In asking for both Severino and Judge, they were shooting the moon. Severino and Judge are two of the Yankees' top prospects in a farm system that Baseball America has ranked 17th and 18th in the past two years. The Braves were dangling Heyward and Simmons in front of the Yankees, hoping they'd bite and give up two treasured prospects. But considering that Heyward had just one year left before free agency at that time, you can guess why the trade didn't happen. Severino and Judge were too much to ask for Simmons and just one season of Heyward. The Braves would trade Heyward to the Cardinals for Miller, and then a year later flip Miller to the Diamondbacks for Swanson, the first overall selection in the 2015 draft.
Huge, blockbuster trades don't happen that often in baseball. In fact, the last two both happened in 2012. In August of that year, the Red Sox and the Dodgers exchanged nine players, including Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Just three months later, Miami had one of their signature fire sales and shipped five players to the Blue Jays, and the Jays sent seven players in return. But those trades absolutely accomplished goals for each team. The Red Sox and the Marlins shed payroll, and the Dodgers and the Blue Jays gained talented, established players. Since the Yankees' goal wasn't one year of Heyward, they wisely passed on that deal. In the end, everything worked out for the best. (Well, except for the Diamondbacks.)
- Former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. was, according to him, a really fantastic, forward-thinking executive and was just trolling us while we all thought he was doing a terrible job. Don't we feel stupid now! Oh wait, no we don't.
- What's the latest zany thing the Cubs are doing during spring training? I'm glad you asked! Yesterday they gagged their strength coach, tied him to an office chair and rolled him out to silently "lead" their stretches. Why? Chihuahuas and scorpions, apparently.
- Even though he was vying for a spot on the Padres' major league roster, Skip Schumaker has decided to retire after 11 years and two World Series rings. Happy trails, Skip.
- It's Mo'ne Davis' world, and we're just lucky enough to live in it. The sensationally talented Little League star can do more than just pitch, write a book and develop a Disney movie about her life --she can dominate in the paint, too.
- Jay Bruce and Joey Votto have a strategy to beat the shift: bunting! But they have to get *really* good at it first.
- Baseball won't be in the 2016 Summer Olympics, but it could make a triumphant return in 2020. That would be excellent news for struggling baseball programs around the world.
- A fourth pitcher on the Yomiuri Giants has admitted to betting on baseball, making this gambling scandal four times worse than Pete Rose, if you can imagine such a thing.
- Jonathan Papelbon has decided that choking his fellow teammates isn't the most professional thing to do at work, so instead he's decided to help them play better baseball. Novel idea!