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What is a trade but an exchange of things? Given the approaching hoofbeats of the July 31 non-waiver deadline, we’re presently conditioned to think of baseball trades as involving baseball players and nothing more (with the occasional exception of cash). While this is true within the lame-wad partitions of reality, we’re indebted to no such banalities. 

In this space we’ve already demanded that the White Sox trade for the Marlins‘ home run sculpture. So in keeping with that ethos, we’re here to recommend six additional trades of an unorthodox nature that we’d like to see in advance of Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. People, let the fiction flow like melted Dippin’ Dots in the 500 section:

Yankees get: The Mets‘ home run apple, the Wilpons
Mets get: A Steinbrenner to be named later

Fred Wilpon and his obliging fail-son have been derelict in their ownership duties for longer than anyone can remember. It’s time for them and the Madoff-related debts to go away and bring in a new owner who’s willing to invest in the Mets at a level befitting their market size. As it turns out, the cross-town Yankees have an extra Steinbrenner lying around. So is Hal or Hank best suited to guide the Queenslanders back to adequacy and beyond? 

Here’s Hal … 

MLB: Winter Meetings


Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

Not only does he have the haircut of a supercilious yachtsman, but he also looks like he still believes in at least three things presently of this world. So he’s out. 

Hank? In addition to being named Hank, he looks like a bouncer at an off-track betting parlor. Hank it is. Go Mets. 


Rays get: Rangers‘ old ballpark
Rangers get: Naming rights to Rays’ new ballpark

This one’s pretty simple. The Rangers are getting set to move into a new ballpark despite their “old” ballpark being a mere quarter-century old, and the Rays need a new ballpark but — in keeping with industry best practices — would prefer to someone else to pay for it. Sounds like a match. So the Rangers shall make us of America’s Mightiest Forklift to place Globe Life Park on America’s Widest Flatbed Trailer, which is hitched via battleship chain to America’s Widest All-Terrain Sleeper Cab Commercial Tractor Unit. Interstates shall be used only by accident as the Globe Life Park barrels across the American south — leveling the homes, schools, churches, and storefront businesses who dare stand athwart it until it arrives in awfullest Florida. Thereupon it shall be named You Should Instead Do Business With The Texas Rangers Ballpark, and the Rays shall play there. It’s an open-air ballpark, yes, but branded drones shall hover menacingly above the playing surface with all-weather coaxial arena speakers attached — all so the beloved Tropicana Field ground rules can live on. 


Diamondbacks get: The uniforms of Single-A Visalia Rawhide
Visalia Rawhide gets: Expression of gratitude on club letterhead, option not to use Diamondbacks’ old uniforms

The Diamondbacks’ current uniforms are — it says here — the worst in baseball. Their road duds look like wet sweatpants. The hats look like a black hats left outside during a blood rainstorm. Change them for the good of all innocent onlookers.  

Know who has good uniforms? The Visalia Rawhide — obedient and right-wise Cal League affiliate of those same Diamondbacks. Here’s a glimpse … 

Praise be. Cream-colored home unis? Cool and evocative jersey script? Hat that does not look like the breaking of a biblical seal? It’s all there. The Diamondbacks can change that bullwhip into a snake rather easily. As for the Rawhide, perhaps their affiliation agreement makes them vulnerable to such plundering by the parent club, but no one can make them use the D-Backs’ discarded look. 


Nationals get: Dusty Baker
Dusty Baker gets: Cash considerations, framed apology

The Nationals infamously ran off Dusty Baker despite his leading them to a pair of division titles and a total of 192 wins across two seasons. In essence, Baker was sent to the four winds because of an umpiring error in Game 5 of the 2017 NLDS. Things, as you may have noticed, have not gone swimmingly for the Nats since Baker was cut loose. Those of a karmic bent will say this is as it should be, but the Nationals now get their shot at redemption. Baker is back in the Washington dugout until he chooses not to be, and the Nats high command is made better for its act of contrition. 

As for the man who’s won 1,854 games as a skipper and continues to run opposed for baseball’s Prime Minister of Chill, he’ll continue to play it as it lays … 


Yankees get: Phillie Phanatic
Phillies get: Gleyber Torres

The Yankees are oh so super important and special with their rules against facial hair and their nameless jerseys and their lack of a mascot. We’ll leave them to their oppressive excesses on other fronts, but it’s time to force them to have a mascot. The Phillie Phanatic is the most recognizable mascot in MLB, probably, so let’s make a blockbuster out of it. It’ll cost you, of course, which is why the lavishly gifted Torres goes the other way. Yes, the Phanatic has 10-and-five rights and thus can refuse any trade, but he’s more aware than anyone that he should probably cool his heels up north for a while

Obviously, he’s going to have to shave in accordance with his new team’s Victorian sense of self-importance … 

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies

Phillie Phanatic for Gleyber Torres: Who says no?
USATSI

Yes, a few minutes under Brian Cashman’s straight razor will likely leave the Phanatic looking like an uncooked kielbasa yelling into a megaphone, but eventually he’ll get a base tan. 


Padres get: One of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters
Nolan Ryan gets: Promise from this scribe to no longer point out that Robin Ventura actually won that fight

The Padres are the only active franchise without a no-hitter. Nolan Ryan has seven of them. He’ll give them one so they no longer feel so bad. In exchange for his generosity toward the San Diego baseball club, this scribe will promise to no longer promote the obvious reality that Ryan lost that famous fight to Robin Ventura. That’s right: Ventura won. Once Ryan hands over a no-hitter, though, the writer will stop saying that. Even though it’s true. And it is. True. 

Anyhow, since this is the year of the position player pitching, we’ll say Cory Spangenberg gets credited the first and only no-no in Pads history. Cory Spangenberg. 

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