New MLB Medical Records Sharing Rules

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016
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MLB has announced that new rules will be laid down when it comes to exchanging medical records during trade off discussions. Cases of critical medical information being withheld by team managers during these negotiations have certainly contributed to this new system, although MLB officials insist that this is something they have been working on for some time now. Here are more details about this standardized information sharing system that has been unveiled in the MLB Preseason:

Cases of Withholding Information

One of the most attention grabbing cases of medical information being withheld during negotiations this year is the A.J Preller case. Preller, who is the general manager for Padres, was suspended for thirty games in September for failure to disclose medical information during trade talks about one of his players. The player in question had an underlying elbow problem that Preller knew about before concluding trade talks with the Marlins. Preller’s failure to disclose this problem led to righty Colin Rea being returned to the Padres.

This was not the only case however. Another Red Sox player by the name of Drew Pomeranz may also be returning to his old team soon. This is because during the negotiations about his trade, the Boston team was not made aware of the fact that he was on a treatment program. It has been established that this is quite the norm in San Diego. Some team managers are in the habit of keeping two medical records of their players. One record contains the medical details of the players in great depth, and it is usually reserved for the team managers. The other record, and this is what is given to other teams that intend to buy the players, usually contains few details and very scanty medical information about the players in question.

Finding the middle ground…

Nobody denies that some information needs to be kept private, or at least within the confines of the files of a player’s current team. However, it is also true that withholding critical medical information is misleading and unfair to the buying team. That is why the MLB has long sought a middle ground for exchanging medical information during trade off negotiations. Officials agree that bluntly dishing out information about a player’s medical health to potential buyers may injure their chances of getting into a new team. But they also appreciate that it is important that certain information be divulged early in advance during the talks.

Kyle Glaser of Baseball America quipped that a new system is already in place. MLB’s chief legal officer, Dan Halem, said that the standardization of medical reports rules had already been communicated to all of MLB’s team managers. The system has been a work in progress for ages, initially being worked on by a team of athletic trainers. This committee of trainers were tasked with coming up with recommendations of medical information must be shared by a team during trade negotiations. Now that the system is ready, MLB is hopeful that it will help teams deal fairer with each other during trade talks.


One has to admit that the new system of doing things is a rather amicable solution to the feuds that occur during trade talks. It truly is a win- win situation for everyone.

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

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