Bill Shanks

Shanks: If only more players could veto trades

On Tuesday, Alberto Callaspo initially vetoed a trade from the Atlanta Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had that right, as a player who signed a free agent contract before this season. Those players can’t be traded until after June 15 without their permission.

Late Tuesday night, Callaspo then changed his mind, and the deal seemed to be back on again.

Reports have the Braves getting Juan Uribe, who likely will take over as the starting third baseman for the rest of the year, and a prospect. Uribe is not a star, but he has a reputation as a great clubhouse piece and someone who could provide a bit more power in the lineup at a power position.

It’s a shame other players can’t veto trades. Some can, like those with 10-and-5 rights: 10 years in the big leagues and five years with the same club. But sometimes you wish players could just say, like Callaspo, “No, I’m not going.”

Why didn’t Brett Butler say that back in 1983? The Braves outfielder was so popular, but team owner Ted Turner traded Butler to Cleveland for Len Barker. How did that turn out for Atlanta? Why ruin your day posting those statistics?

How about when Dale Murphy was traded to Philadelphia in 1990? I know Murphy said he needed a change of scenery, but he never looked right in that Phillies uniform. The Braves got back Jeff Parrett, Victor Rosario and Jim Vatcher in the Murphy trade.

Who? They got those no-names for Dale Murphy?

Why didn’t Brett Favre tell the Falcons, “Look, I like Buckhead too much to get traded somewhere cold like Green Bay. I’m not going anywhere.”

Wouldn’t that have been nice?

What if David Justice and Marquis Grissom had ran to general manager John Schuerholz’s office in 1997 and said, “We are not going to Cleveland. Have you ever been to Cleveland, Mr. Schuerholz? That’s not happening.”

We can only dream.

The Braves got Kenny Lofton and Alan Embree for those two outfielders, who were pretty good in their days wearing the Braves uniform.

The very next day, Schuerholz traded Jermaine Dye to the Kansas City Royals for Michael Tucker. Dye was just a kid then, but why didn’t Dye just throw a hissy fit and refuse to go?

Schuerholz pulled off some great trades, but there are a few other bad ones that stand out. Adam Wainwright pitched in Macon in 2001. He turned into a great prospect and the St. Louis Cardinals wanted him when Schuerholz asked for outfielder J.D. Drew.

Why didn’t Wainwright just act immature and demand to stay with the Braves? “You know I love this uniform. I’m a Georgia kid, grew up watching the Braves. You know I never want to pitch with any other team. I am not going to St. Louis.”

That might not have gone over well, but it certainly might have changed the Braves’ fortunes if Wainwright had refused to go.

Oh, well. It’s nice to think of how things might have been different if a few players had been able to do what Callaspo initially did Tuesday. If he hadn’t changed his mind and accepted a deal to Los Angeles, we might have wondered if this somewhat insignificant trade could have turned into yet another “what if” when it comes to swapping players.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and email him at