MLB Trade Deadline: Looking At Non-Trades From 2007

PHOENIX, AZ : Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after the end of the sixth inning during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If I were a wealthy man, and MLB Trade Rumors didn't exist, I would pay someone to collect trade rumors for me. Maybe I'd set up a dummy corporation and hand out college credits to have someone do it. I'd tell him or her to condense all of the day's rumors into a nightly digest, and I would read said digest as I sat in my mansion's sitting room, rich in both money and trade rumors.

But I don't need to do that because MLB Trade Rumors does exist, and it's an absolutely necessary resource for a baseball fan in 2011. It's hard to remember trade deadlines before the site existed. I'm picturing telegraphs getting delayed by downed wires, letters being eaten by ponies, and carrier pigeons getting sucked into jet engines, which all led to no one knowing who was having internal discussions about whom according to sources with knowledge of the situation. A cold, desperately bleak time.

It was around for the 2007 trade deadline, though, which allows us to look at some of the best trade rumors, five trade deadlines (and four years) ago. What were the trades that weren't made? I think the MLB Network should produce a trade-centric remake of Sliders. I'd watch. Here are the five non-trades that would have made baseball radically different today, in reverse-order of "holy crap" potential:

5.

Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post is hearing whispers about the Diamondbacks possibly trading 22 year-old outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to the Nationals for Chad Cordero.

Maybe without Gonzalez, the Dan Haren deal doesn't get done, which means Matt Holliday doesn't go to the A's for Gonzalez, which means Holliday might not get traded to the Cardinals, which might lead to him signing somewhere else.

Got all that? Really, it's amazing when you look at the Butterfly Effect these non-trades would have had. Brett Anderson, Brett Wallace, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, and Dan Haren might all be somewhere else right now if that trade had happened.

4.

Perrotto confirms a rumor that surfaced a week ago, that Ian Snell could be had for the right bat. Perrotto would know, as he spent time as a Pirates' beat writer. Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Matt Kemp are two possible targets for the Bucs.

In 2007, Kemp was a tools monster going nuts in AAA before a July call-up, while Snell was a 25-year-old pitcher having a fantastic first half for the Pirates and under control for a while. It would have made sense.

One player from that rumor might win the NL MVP this year, and another has retired. Go on. Guess which one is which.

3.

Yahoo's Jeff Passan says righty Tommy Hanson could replace (Matt) Harrison in the (Mark Teixeira) deal.

The Mark Teixeira/Braves deal is already famous for being pretty one-sided, as it propelled the Rangers to the World Series last year, and it's helped put them in first place this year. But it could have been even worse. Well, with Harrison pitching so well this year, maybe "worse" isn't the right word. It would have looked much worse even sooner.

2.

(From Jayson Stark ... )The Phillies are falling all over themselves to get a starter, but the main options appear to be Joe Kennedy, Kyle Lohse, and Steve Trachsel. ... For good starters or relievers, teams want Shane Victorino. The Phils need him to take over center field next year.

This rumor doesn't explicitly suggest Victorino for Lohse or Trachsel, but it's not hard to see Victorino getting traded in a deal like that. He was already shuffled around in two different Rule 5 drafts as an interesting-yet-not-top prospect, and in his first full season (2006), he hit .287/.346/.414 with six homers and four steals in 415 at-bats.

That's a nice player, but it was hard to see him turning into one of the better center fielders in the game, and the Phillies had Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, and Jayson Werth on the roster in 2007. Even with Rowand a pending free agent, it's somewhat surprising that they held on to Victorino.

1.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Dodgers are going after 26 year-old Oakland starter Joe Blanton. Blanton would add some stability and would find the NL to his liking.

The discussion is centered around three frontline prospects going to Oakland. Olney names Andy LaRoche, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, and Jonathan Meloan as possibilities.

Three frontline prospects! Joe Blanton! Ethier/Kemp/Kershaw! This was in 2007, about 33,000 hours ago. Remember, the A's gave up Ethier in the first place, so I'd like to think they were holding out for LaRoche in the deal instead of Ethier, and that's why nothing ever got done.

The Dodgers would have two wins this year without Ethier, Kemp, and Kershaw, and both of those wins would have come on walk-off catcher-interference calls in the 19th inning.

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