Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed this week to amend the terms in which recently drafted players can be traded, a change made after the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres agreed to an unusual deal last winter that has a top prospect playing for one franchise even after he has been traded to the other, two major league sources confirmed Friday.
The rule was amended Wednesday and teams were notified this week, according to one source. Players from the most recent draft can now be traded beginning the day after the World Series, a change from the old rule, which said they couldn’t be dealt until a year after they signed.
The change, which was first reported by FanGraphs, will affect players in the upcoming June amateur draft. But it won’t affect Trea Turner, the promising shortstop who is spending part of this season in limbo because he was dealt under the old rules.
Last June, the Padres took Turner in the first round out of N.C. State. But San Diego then underwent sweeping changes in its front office, and in December new general manager A.J. Preller agreed to include Turner as part of a three-team trade — that also brought Wil Myers to San Diego from Tampa Bay and sent Steven Souza Jr. from Washington to the Rays – according to major league sources. The Nationals thus yielded pitcher Joe Ross and Turner in the deal.
But by the old rules, Turner couldn’t be dealt until June 13 of this year – the anniversary of the day he signed. So the Nationals and Padres agreed to make him a “player to be named later.” Thus, Turner spent this spring at the Padres’ complex in Peoria, Ariz., working out with players who won’t be his teammates later this summer and playing for coaches who won’t be instructing him as his career takes off.
Turner is hitting .282 with a .354 on-base percentage with a homer and six RBI in his first 18 games for Class AA San Antonio.
The new rule also provides that players in the most recent draft cannot be used as players to be named later during the summer after they’re drafted. They must remain with the club that drafted them until the day after the World Series.
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