Doing nothing often works

Do second-half trades make a big difference? The Braves and Twins show it's the moves you don't make that work.

Originally Published: September 20, 2004
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
At the All-Star break the Yankees had 55 wins, the Cardinals 54. But otherwise almost everybody was somewhat equally competitive, with 16 teams boasting more than 43 wins but fewer than 50. The Braves were in second place, but their lead over the fourth-place Mets (remember them?) was just one game. The Reds had a better record than the Braves, and the White Sox (remember them?) were in first place (though by just a hair).

With all those teams in at least theoretical contention, there were a lot of nervous general managers. Do you trade two or three good minor-league prospects for a mere chance at reaching the postseason? Or do you let everybody else fight for those six remaining slots, and start thinking about next year?

Seven teams -- the Reds, Angels, Phillies, Padres, Braves, Giants and Rangers -- essentially did nothing.