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The inside story of the first MLB player traded during the coronavirus pandemic

With everything happening in the world, with Major League Baseball shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, with his minor league income suddenly up in the air, Pereda couldn’t believe he’d just been traded from the Chicago Cubs. As he sat in his Mesa, Arizona, hotel room holding his infant daughter, Carlotta, Pereda received a second call from Boston Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero, confirming the news he’d just gotten from the Cubs.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

That’s when his new reality set in.

“I was just hoping and looking forward to the beginning of the season and to start making money,” Pereda, a 23-year-old from Aragua, Venezuela, told ESPN through a translator. “I have to give support to my family. When I found out that the season was over, my first thought was, ‘What am I going to do?'”7

Boston acquired Pereda from the Cubs last Monday, completing a trade finalized in January that sent righty Travis Lakins to Chicago — making Pereda the first player traded during the worldwide pandemic. When MLB decided last week to freeze rosters due to the suspension of the season, Pereda was joined by Rays minor league infielder Esteban Quiroz as the only players traded.

The terms of the Lakins trade required a player to be named later to be agreed upon by March 24. Last season, Pereda won the Gold Glove at the catcher position for all of minor league baseball, throwing out 50% of runners. Left unprotected by the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft, Pereda re-signed with the organization on a minor league deal this offseason before being dealt to Boston.

“We had to complete the trade by the 24th,” said Red Sox general manager Brian O’Halloran. “Nobody was sure how things were going to go with the negotiations when the potential transaction freeze might take place. We were sort of resigned to the fact that it was unusual, but we were going to acquire a player that we couldn’t see in person and that we couldn’t have report to Fort Myers [Florida] and we just had to treat him as best as we possibly could.”

His world now flipped upside down, Pereda’s mind raced. What should he do next? He wondered if he needed to fly to Fort Myers to join the other minor leaguers in the Red Sox organization. Like many players from Latin America, Pereda thought too about his family back home, who depend on his baseball salary.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Coming from a third-world country where everything is very hard and tough, with the entire situation, I just wish that MLB and other people can help the minor leaguers [more] than they are doing right now because we need that money to live and provide for our families,” Pereda said. “I think I can speak for all the Latin-American players, coming from there to the States, when we arrive to this country, it is because we are going to work and we are trying to make money to provide for our families.

“Of course being in the big leagues, you have all of the attention of the fans and people sometimes don’t realize how hard the struggle we have to go through. Only the players know how hard it is to get there because being in the business, you have to go to the minors first.”