Pregnant wives, condo swaps and the family dog The human toll of the MLB trade Deadline


Pregnant wives, condo swaps and the family dog The human toll of the MLB trade Deadline So, what happens when it does? A whirlwind of hasty goodbyes, an earnest desire to please your new employer, and the undeniable fact your personal life has been significantly upended – its a lot for the affected player to process. For players who crave familiarity and routine to compete at the highest level of a game thats challenging even in times of stability, the deadline dance means ceding control – and provides both a personal and physical challenge. Its inevitable that at some point you get traded, says Boston Red Sox starter Andrew Cashner, whose July 13 trade from Baltimore was his second deadline move in four seasons. You dont know when. A lot of things are out of your control, and its just starting the process all over again – finding a place to live, shipping dogs, cars, kids. Make no mistake: With a minimum salary of nearly dollar 600,000 and a support system built in from both the original team and the acquiring team, the modern ballplayer has an infrastructure that would make him the envy of any relocated employee. Still, theres a difference between surviving and thriving. And a combination of family, friends new and old and the oddest creature comforts can mean the world. Its easy to forget major leaguers essentially grow up in the game – drafted or signed between the ages of 16 and 21, and hopefully talented and fortunate enough to see their 30th birthday on a big league roster. And that trade can come at any time in the arc of a life – single or married, childless or expecting. I cant imagine doing it now, with a 2 year old, with an eighth months pregnant wife, says Boston Red Sox starter David Price. Im sure if I got traded somewhere far away, my wife is probably not coming. That would be tough. TRADE DEADLINE:  HALL OF FAME:  Price was dealt twice in 365 days, his July 31, 2014 trade sending him from Tampa Bay to Detroit. The Tigers shipped him to Toronto the following July 30. He and his girlfriend were unmarried and childless then, and relocating was akin to a State Department employee or extended stay road warrior on a long business trip. In Detroit, he merely settled in a hotel where the Rays once stayed, where he knew the bellmen and front desk staff. Hed have his laundry done , where the industrial strength machines and staff probably made the process easier. A Blue Jays employee scooped him up off the side of the road and took him to Toronto; his car would instead be shipped home to Florida. While his girlfriend, Tiffany, had her car, Prices ride for his three months as a Blue Jay was an electric scooter hed pilot to Rogers Centre and home. Rather than a hotel, Price rented a condo from former Blue Jay Adam Lind, whose residence lacked a full time occupant after the slugger was sent from Toronto to Milwaukee the previous winter. Price cant help but empathize with Cashner, who spent the morning before a recent day game after a night game hunting for a home. Cashners wife is due with their first child in late November and is discouraged from lifting heavy objects. And then theres Lyndsey, the Cashners yellow lab. For now, shes their lone child and so dog beds and treats were high on the grab and go list when Boston struck its deal with Baltimore and the Cashners punched it north on I 95. Fortunately for them, the Red Sox visited Baltimore for a three game series just six days after the trade. Cashner spent the sweltering days before those games packing up his old place – cold weather clothes to ship home to Texas, all other essentials to send north. If only there was a home address to ship it all. Bostons a tough place to get with. Its just so big, and a three month rental is hard to find, he says. Its so historic and so old, building on building on building. Its also cool, too. You get to see a lot of art, a lot of structures that have been around a long time. Cashner gained 22 games in the standings, if not a place to live. Some players are lucky to get both. One year ago, Brian Dozier was a walking trade rumor. With the Minnesota Twins ticketed for 85 losses, nine games out of first at the trade deadline and Dozier bound for free agency, years of speculation were finally going to meet reality. His destination quite literally emerged out of the blue. Doziers agents were in touch with him all day about potential scenarios, but by 2:55 p.m. CT, there was no deal anyone knew of five minutes before the deadline. And then there was. As Dozier strolled through the Twins clubhouse, word had reached first baseman Logan Morrison, whose eyes grew big as he saw Dozier. Oh, youre gonna like where youre going, he told the power hitting second baseman. I was like, Do you know more than I do? Dozier recalls. He was like, You just wait and see. Sure enough, right after that, they called me into the office. We had never heard Dodgers. Not one time, except the previous offseason. But the Dodgers it was. For Dozier, leaving the Twins after nine years in the organization was very emotional, he said, a mood that lasted barely 15 minutes, when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called. He said, Traveling secretarys going to get with you about flights. I said, Great Ill go back home and pack and see if I can find something in the morning very first thing. And he said, No, we actually need you tonight. And I said, OK, here we go! I had about an hour to go home and pack and catch a flight. And sure enough, I made it in the seventh inning, dressed in uniform, ready to rock. He gave me a big hug and I said, Doc, if you need me, Im ready tonight. Which, I dont know if I really was, but I gotta say it, right? And by then, he was in his forever home Forever as in, the final two months of the season . Dozier was traded for two minor leaguers and second baseman Logan Forsythe. Dozier had a condo in Minneapolis he no longer needed. Forsythe had a condo in Glendale, a nearly traffic proof drive away from Dodger Stadium, that would soon be empty. The house swap was consummated in less than 48 hours. Dozier and the Dodgers went to a World Series together, and while the accommodations were temporary – Dozier finally sold his Minneapolis condo last month –  he gained something more permanent. Some of my closest friends in baseball are on that Dodgers team, he says. Youre going to continue to create newer friends that last a lifetime, which is an incredible thing. And therein lies the key, perhaps, to all this trade agita: Succumb to your powerlessness. You dont know how the GM is thinking, says veteran starter Anibal Sanchez, traded from Miami to Detroit in July 2012. The only thing I can say is, play for the team you represent right now and let the front office do the job. Sanchez, a native of Venezuela was fortunate back then: He was dealt along with Omar Infante to a team bound for the World Series and with a significant Latin American presence: Miggy Cabrera , Octavio Dotel, Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Al Alburquerque, Santiago – they make you feel comfortable, right away. The final week before the deadline can be a crucible. Rumors abound, and deals form and then fall apart. Unless a player has a no trade clause or the acquiring team wants to work out a contract extension, front offices owe players nothing in terms of information. Still, the game – and life – will go on, even if the city changes. When youre attached with something for nine years like I was, that makes it a lot harder. Change is more difficult, says Dozier. But either boat that youre in, always remember that its still baseball. You still got your family. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Related slideshow: Best of the 2019 MLB season Provided by imagn

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