Yesterday’s Cliff Lee trade raised the prospect of an interesting dilemma for Major League Baseball. All-Star Game rosters are devised with the requirement that each team (even the Orioles) gets one representative. Lee is an all-star; when rosters were selected, he was a Mariner, and now he’s a Ranger.
Now, the dilemma isn’t immediate. We have Ichiro Suzuki‘s enormous popularity to thank for that—the Mariners will have a representative. (And I think we’re safe in assuming Ichiro won’t be traded away.) But given the All-Star Game’s placement right in the middle of trade season, and the fact that teams with only one representative are the most likely to be sellers at the deadline, doesn’t it seem plausible that a team might trade away their one all-star before the All-Star Game?
Has this ever occurred? And if not, what do you think would happen as a result? Usually there are a handful of players who withdraw at the last minute, citing injuries or a recent start. So if a trade involving Ty Wigginton occurred a week ago, there’d be plenty of time to put, say, Jason Berken on the roster in place of whichever pitcher pulls out. But what if the O’s announced that trade yesterday afternoon?
Many of us think the one-player-per-team rule is silly, but MLB clearly doesn’t think so. Maybe one of these years, a fire sale will reveal just how serious they are about it.