Originally Posted by Lip Man 1
I believe MLB has something along the lines of a "restricted" list which makes it impossible for another team to just step in and sign a player who refuses to report to a new team in a trade.
If said player doesn't report and if the 'holdout' goes long enough, the commissioner can step in and assign another player to complete the trade.
It happened to the Sox once before the 1970 season if memory serves. That's how they got Jerry "Wheat Germ Kid" Janeski.
A minor league pitcher by the name of Billy Farmer didn't want to go to the White Sox for the 1970 season. He sayted in the Boston system, and didn't pitch professionally after 1970, never making it up to the Red Sox. Jerry Janeski that year was the White Sox No. 3 starter, which says more about the 1970 White Sox than it does about Janeski's pitching prowess. Janeski started 35 games for the 1970 Sox, but only started 11 more after he was traded to the Senators, where he was teammates with Curt Flood in 1971. Flood had refused to report to the Phillies who traded him to the Senators after sitting out a year. While the Phillies retained the rights to Flood, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn awarded the Phillies a minor league pitcher and Willie Montanez, who was second in the NL Rookie of the Year vote in 1971. I don't know if "Willie the Phillie" had been the Cardinals top prospect and Flood's heir apparent, but all of that happened a very long time ago. There have strikes and lockouts and many changes to the collective bargaining agreement since.
Teams generally deal with players who refuse to report before it goes to the commissioner. They usually work out out deals themselves, as was the case with Ed Farmer a few years after the Billy Farmer thing. I don't know what protections, if any, the current CBA afford Mark Buehrle. The question isn't simply a matter of contract law, but contract law in the context of the CBA. Still, with Buehrle's contract, I don't know how easy it would be for the Blue Jays to deal him to another team.
Funny, though, that when Buehrle broke in with the Sox in 2000, pitching out of the bullpen, the southpaw ace of the staff was Mike Sirotka. The Blue Jays made a deal for Sirotka, paving the way for Buehrle to become the southpaw ace of the Sox, but Sirotka, of course, never appeared in a regular season game for the Blue Jays.