Monday, August 8, 2011

FullCountPitch | July Trades Bring August Gambles

Wandy Rodriguez will be among those dangled on waivers

With the trade deadline concluded a week ago Sunday, teams must now pass players through waivers to deal with any team. All waivers are revocable, so general managers can dangle any players out there and not worry about automatically losing them.

Just to quickly recap the rules…if a player is claimed by one team on waivers, that is the only team the orginal team can try to make a trade with. If more than one team makes a claim, the team with the worst record is the only team that can make a deal. If the player’s team pulls him back off waivers, he can still be put on waivers again in September. However, if anyone claims the player at that time, he is all their’s, free and clear.

Teams will pick up players as late as September even if it means said player isn’t eligible for the post-season. The 1977 Yankees were a powerhouse, but still grabbed Dave Kingman for the stretch run. “Kong” hit four home runs in eight games and slugged his way to an 1.167 OPS. (Imagine if Kingman and Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui ever had the chance to oppose each other.)

Then there are the gamblers, like White Sox GM Kenny Williams who claimed Alex Rios and his over the top contract. Rios’ current employer, the Toronto Blue Jays, said “He’s all yours”. It used to be no one would be claimed on waivers, effectively allowing any trades to be worked out. But then teams started saying the hell with that and blocked deals by claiming players to prevent the competition from getting him. The Yankees got saddled with Jose Canseco in 2000 when they claimed him just to keep him away from the Red Sox.

Other players have had a major impact on their new team. Outfielder Cody Ross was a key component to the Giants World Series title after being picked up on August 21. So who might be dealt post-deadline in 2011, or outright grabbed on waivers? Who might a team take a chance on?

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