It's been a while since I've gone totally off the topic of collecting, but I was thinking about this recently and figured I'd put it out there into the world.
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What's the longest trade chain that you can think of in current baseball?

By this I mean picking a player who was acquired by his current team for a player, who was traded for a player, going on back as far as you can get until you hit a wall with a player who was drafted or signed as a free agent.

A recent example would be the Indians: Yasiel Puig was acquired for Trevor Bauer, who was acquired for Shin-Soo Choo, who was acquired for Ben Broussard, who was acquired for Russell Branyan. That goes back to 1994: not bad.

Travis Fryman was an interesting one for the Tribe just because of the sheer volume of third basemen involved: Fryman for Matt Williams, for Jeff Kent, for Carlos Baerga, for Joe Carter, for George Frazier, for Toby Harrah, for Buddy Bell. Of the eight players involved, six played at least a significant bit of time at third for the Indians and spans a 1969 draft pick on up to a 2002 retirement. You can even sub in Jose Vizcaino for Jeff Kent: both were acquired for Baerga and both were shipped out for Williams and both played a bit at third in their careers (though only Kent did for the Indians).

Of course, the longest one for the Tribe now is Corey Kluber, who can be traced back through eight trades to Jerry Dybzinski's 15th round selection in the 1977 draft (14 slots after him? NBA All-Star Danny Ainge!). And with the trade rumors that have circulated around Kluber for the last year-plus, that chain could grow longer.

Looking through the closest team to me geographically, the Rangers don't really have any longer than one or two links: most acquisitions have been via free agency and drafts lately, or a single chain like Willie Calhoun for free agent signee Yu Darvish. Even most departing players have been as free agents or retirements with zero return (Matt Garza, Julio Franco, Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland).

So, who has the longest current chain in all of baseball? Who has the longest one for your team? Any fun oddities like the third-base-heavy chain of Bell to Fryman?

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