1940 January

4th The Reds send sore-armed lefty Lee Grissom to the Yankees for 26-year-old pitcher Joe Beggs. As noted by historian Lyle Spatz, Beggs had to clear waivers from all 7 AL teams, who likely were not aware of the impending swap. This is due to the new rule voted last month barring the AL pennant winner (read Yankees) from any trades within the league. Beggs will go 12–3 for the Reds, while Grissom will be sold to the Dodgers on May 15.

14th Commissioner Kenesaw Landis gives free agency to 91 Detroit players and farm hands. Citing cover-ups in its organization, Landis hands freedom to Roy Cullenbine, Benny McCoy, Lloyd Dietz, and Steve Rachunok from the parent roster and orders $47,250 paid as compensation to 14 players. Johnny Sain is one of 23 players who will later make it to the ML. Landis’s edict nullifies a deal that would have brought Wally Moses to the Tigers for Benny McCoy and George Coffman. McCoy is considered the plum of the emancipation, and several clubs bid for the 2B. Connie Mack keeps Moses and signs McCoy for a $45,000 bonus and 2-season contract at $10,000 a year.