Imagine the following completely hypothetical scenario:

I have Chris Davis on my team (I am Dan Duquette). I know that Chris will be a free agent next year, and I want to keep him. I sign him to a multi-year deal that goes into effect next season - and doesn't begin until then.

At the trading deadline; realizing I will not compete, I trade him to the Diamondbacks for Ken Griffey the Third, Alex Rodriguez's cousin, and a genetic clone of Pedro Martinez.

I do this knowing that next season Chris will be back, and The Orioles now have murderers row.

When the next season starts Chris's contract kicks in and he's an Oriole again.

I'm sure that this is illegal, but I can't find any mention of it on Google. Does anyone know the rules (if any) referencing this type of situation?

  • 3
    Now I could be completely wrong, and tell me if I am, but I'm pretty sure when you trade someone, you trade his contract too. So once you sign him, even if it "goes into effect next season", if you then trade him, that contract actually becomes the Diamondbacks contract.
    – New-To-IT
    Jul 15 '15 at 19:19
  • I thought that. That might be the answer, but it seems that unless there is a rule forbidding it, it could be contractually stipulated somehow.
    – dgo
    Jul 16 '15 at 14:06
  • I'm not sure there's a rule forbidding it exactly, but I'm pretty sure you could trade him to a contender, with the other team knowing he wasn't going to re-sign with them, and go back to you in Free Agency.
    – New-To-IT
    Jul 16 '15 at 14:07
  • That's kind of the question though. It could be suggested with only a handshake - but could it be done explicitly - or another interesting point - could it be done secretly to jack up trade value?
    – dgo
    Jul 16 '15 at 14:12
  • 3
    Tempted to close as duplicate of this question. You're effectively proposing a player loan, which is banned under the CBA. Now, there aren't as far as I know explicit prohibitions of what you suggest in your last comment - handshake deals - like the NBA has (as they had some issues with that), but they'd be at best handshake deals.
    – Joe
    Jul 17 '15 at 19:11