I've looked all over for the rule governing baseball. Not the official rulebook that details how the game is played (balls, strikes, hits, etc), but the one that describes how waivers, trades, and drafts work. The closest thing I found was this site.
Anyway, the question I have is; is there a rule in place that would not allow the following trade scenario to happen:
One morning, Tony Reagins wakes up and decides he just can't live without Adam Dunn. He looks on his official baseball info/stat sheet and notices Dunn is a Type A free agent. He knows that signing a Type A free agent would cause his team to lose its first round and supplemental picks if they sign him as a free agent (forget about the protected picks for now). Obviously, Tony knows the Angel farm system needs its picks, and would hate to give up those picks for a player like Dunn, but Tony, being the uber-ninja we all know he can be, cooks up a plan...
He calls the Nationals GM, Mike Rizzo and says, "Hey Mike, this Adam Dunn guy. You have any plans on re-signing him?"
Rizz replies, "Why no Tony, he'd be too expensive for us. Why do you ask?"
This is where Tony tosses out his brilliant plan, "We'd like to sign him, but don't want to give up the picks. We're prepared to sign him for 2-years at $9M per, but how about this...if you sign him, we'll send you Juan Rivera and pick up the entire contract. However, if you're able to sign him for anything less than $9M per year, we'll give you Juan Rivera and the difference. Or, if you prefer, we'll send you one of our lower level minor league guys. Whattaya think?"
Could they do this?