As the Major League Baseball deadline approaches, baseball fans, especially those with their favorite team in the playoff hunt, are usually scouring the web, following their favorite beat writer on Twitter and staying glued to ESPN for the latest news of possible trades before the clock strikes midnight on July 31st. The non-waiver Major League trading deadline has been July 31st since the 1986 season.
For the most rabid fans, however, who want to catch wind of trades in the works, there’s really only one source: MLB Trade Rumors , an indispensable site that reports on trades and free agent signings 365 days a year with extensive coverage of all 30 teams. Reports or rumors of trades are conveniently linked to original online stories or reported by their own team of writers. Much like retailers during Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the Christmas season), Christmas comes in July for MLB Trade Rumors, especially the last week of July, when a majority of 11th hour trades are finalized.
Tim Dierkes, the creator of MLB Trade Rumors and a writer and contributor to the site, informs me his site averaged about 600,000 pageviews every day from July 1 through July 21st of this year; and for the last 10 days of this month, leading up the trade deadline, he expects to receive approximately 1.5 million page views per day, with almost six million coming in the last two days.
Last year, MLB Trade Rumors registered 3,485,401 page views on July 31st, baseball's trade deadline. Dierkes, a long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan, who used to work in the search engine marketing field before taking the website full-time in January of 2008, currently lives with his wife and three children in Glen Ellyn, IL..
With practically every baseball beat writer from coast-to-coast live tweeting about anything and everything these days, even if a manager blows his nose, I asked Dierkes if he felt the explosion of Twitter has diverted traffic away from his site? Dierkes said: ``Beat writers being on Twitter has not hurt traffic...I think a lot of people would like to avoid having to be on Twitter to catch up on the news, so they're happy to have us act as a filter.’’
In addition to a daily feed of trade rumors and transactions, MLB Trade Rumors features a user friendly pull down menu of ``Tools’’, including a ``2013 MLB Free Agent Tracker’’, ``2013 MLB Free Agent List’’, a ``Transaction Tracker’’, and updated database of which agency a major league baseball player is associated with. And for active users accustomed to getting their news on their mobile devices, the site makes available apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Baseball fans are all too well aware that the fast approaching trading deadline can be a wildly exciting time, with a buzz of trade rumors filling the air.
It wasn’t until July 31st, 2007, for example, the last day of the trading deadline, when fans learned that the Atlanta Braves acquired infielder Mark Teixeira and left-handed pitcher Ron Mahay from the Texas Rangers for catcher/1st baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia, infielder Elvis Andrus, left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison, left-handed pitcher Beau Jones and right-handed pitcher Neftali Feliz. And it was July 31st , 2008, when the Boston Red Sox unloaded their disgruntled cleanup hitter Manny Ramirez in a three-way deal in exchange for Jason Bay from the Pittsburgh Pirates , while the Red Sox paid $ 7 million left on Ramirez's contract, along with sending reliever Craig Hansen and infielder Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh.
Other notable trades on July 31st have included: The Seattle Mariners trading their staff ace Randy Johnson to the Houston Astros in 1998 for left-fielder Carlos Guillen, pitcher Freddy Garcia and a player to be named; the New York Yankees trading outfielder Ruben Sierra and pitcher Matt Drews to the Detroit Tigers in 1996 for 1st baseman/DH Cecil Fielder; and the Oakland Athletics shipping their star slugger, 1st baseman Mark McGwire, to the St. Cardinals in 1997 for pitcher T.J. Mathews, pitcher Eric Ludwick and pitcher Blake Stein.
From July 2000-2013, based on statistics compiled by Major League Baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made a total of 39 trades during the month of July, the most of any major league club, while the club with the least amount of trades during the same time period are the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with only 12.
According to Major League Baseball, a trade deadline in the Major Leagues was first established by the National League on August 20th, 1917. After that date, a player had to clear N.L. waivers before being traded. The American League followed suit in 1920, but with a deadline of July 1st. The following year, both the A.L. and N.L. agreed on a deadline of August 1st. Subsequently, on December 14, 1922, the deadline was changed again to June 15th after securing approval at the Joint Major League meetings held at the Hotel Commodore in New York and it would remain that way until after the 1985 season.
July 25, 2013
Number of Trades in July by Club: 2000-2013:
San Diego: 38
Los Angeles Dodgers: 34
Chicago Clubs: 34
New York Yankees: 30
Chicago White Sox: 27
Kansas City: 27
San Francisco: 26
New York Mets: 25
St. Louis: 20
Tampa Bay: 15
L.A. Angels of Anaheim: 12
Source: Major League Baseball