Usually I ignore Jim Bowden, but he actually put up a somewhat interesting piece "scouting" each GM's trade-deadline approach. Many of the descriptions are very generic ("professional," "straight shooter," etc), but Sabean's is not:
"Often times will delegate trade negotiations to assistant so he can stay non-biased. Old school that relies heavily on Dick Tidrow and top evaluators. Loyal, hard-working, knows players and has as much character as the players he acquires. Tremendous ability to hire veteran baseball people with special baseball skills."
We all new that he delegated contract negotiations to Coletti, but trade negotiations as well? That seems a little weird, to be honest. It's nice to keep an objective view, but I could see why Beane called him the master of the dry hump if this is his style; having an underling without authority to pull the trigger negotiating trades is bound to lead to a lot of false starts. I wonder who the designated negotiator is.