Off the record, other front office members expounded on the role of familiarity. “Familiarity makes everything run more smoothly,” said one. “Sometimes that’s personal familiarity, and it’s often easier to start conversations or let something more open-ended develop casually if there’s enough of a relationship that there’s less formality. Sometimes that’s professional familiarity, and both sides just have a more clear sense of what to expect from each other after numerous dealings. It’s also not odd for clubs to engage, at least initially, along a channel that has some familiarity below the level of each side’s top decision-maker.”
“If there’s not a basic level of trust and an understanding about the other person/team operates, it’s often difficult to cut through the gamesmanship to get down to actual substantive conversations,” said another. “To put it simply, if you don’t think the person on the other side is trying to screw you, it’s a lot easier to come to a negotiated middle ground.”
Source: Eno Sarris, FanGraphs
Sandy Alderson gets raked over the coals here for having his preferred trading partners but it’s that way with pretty much everyone.
Sarris is a good writer and the article is fine. But what makes this link-worthy is that he has an interactive wheel of trades where you can set the time frame from anywhere from 2000 onwards and see which clubs each team has traded with and overall how many players were dealt.
Since the start of the 2011 season, Alderson took over following the 2010 campaign, the Mets have traded with 20 different clubs. In the same time frame, the Nationals have made trades with 23 clubs.