Dave Lozo has done a good article for the score about what it’s like when a player gets traded. So often as sports fans we get so caught up in thinking of players as game pieces (we should get rid of this guy or send these outfielders and prospects to team X to land some pitching from team Y) that we forget that at the end of the day, they’re human beings with real lives just like the rest of us. I don’t know why I just used a baseball example when I’m about to link to a hockey article, but I suppose that whatever your sport of choice is, the big adjustments are going to be largely the same. The David Perron trade: A glimpse into what life is like for an NHL player when he’s been sent packing
Update: The reason I used that baseball example is that I knew that in six years I would discover that the hockey link was dead and I would need to replace it with this still interesting but not nearly as good baseball story. How smart am I?
It is late July in the major leagues, when players forfeit some portion of their humanity, in that they are truly reduced to assets, to be dangled and dealt.
For those on clubs long out of the playoff race, the period until the July 31 trade deadline is spent wondering if that life-altering phone call ever comes.
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 — it’s a lot for the affected player to process.
For players who crave familiarity and routine to compete at the highest level of a game that’s challenging even in times of stability, the deadline dance means ceding control — and provides both a personal and physical challenge.
“It’s 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 don’t know when. A lot of things are out of your control, and it’s just starting the process all over again — finding a place to live, shipping dogs, cars, kids.
“Boston’s not too far. We were able to drive up there. Last time I was traded (from San Diego to Miami), it went West Coast-East Coast. That was a big difference. It’s a headache of a process at times.”