The Major League Baseball trade deadline passed last week with a flurry of activity, including blockbuster deals involving the Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays. Even though the deadline may be behind us, teams can still make deals.
Confused? Not to worry; MLB Network Radio resident general manager Jim Duquette explained how the waiver trade process works on Power Alley.
A team can place a maximum of seven players on waivers at one particular time, and those players remain on waivers for 47 hours. If a player is claimed, the two teams can work out a deal for that player. The team that placed the player on waivers can also just give the player away to the claiming team with his full contract.
The Alex Rios contract in Toronto is the classic example. He had $65 million remaining on his contract and Chicago [White Sox] thought Detroit, the team ahead of them, was going to put in a claim and make a deal. So they were just trying to block it, and J.P. Ricciardi [Toronto’s GM at the time] said we are going to just give you the player and the contract because we want to get out from under this money.
Claims are awarded in order of worst record to best record by league. For example, if the player on waivers is on an American League team, then the team with the worst record in the American League would be awarded the claim first. If nobody in the AL puts in a claim, it goes to the team in the National League with the worst record. If a team is awarded a player, it has 48 hours to make a deal. If the two teams can’t work out a deal, the player is pulled back off revocable waivers and must remain with that club for the rest of the season.
The Philadelphia Phillies will be the team to watch in August, as they have multiple players with large contracts who could pass through waivers. If a player completely passes through waivers, any team could make a deal. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Phillies already placed outfielder Marlon Byrd, RHP Jonathan Papelbon, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, second baseman Chase Utley, pitcher Cole Hamels, and catcher Carlos Ruiz on waivers.
Rosenthal adds that recently acquired Athletics pitcher Jason Hammel and Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley have also been placed on waivers.
So despite last week’s activity prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, general managers are still wheeling and dealing right up until this Aug. 31 deadline. In order to be eligible for the postseason, players must be in their organization by August 31.
Listen to MLB Network Radio on Sirius 209 XM 89 for the latest waiver wire activity