Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Truth About Trading

Today, I was going to explain the process by which teams can continue to make trades through waivers. It is an overlooked aspect of the game, since ESPN and other major sports news outlets will have you believe that July 31st is the be-all, end-all of trades. So I Googled a few terms just to make sure I was passing along facts, and I struck gold:

A full explanation by Scout.com

Usually, players with larger, multi-year contracts are the ones who clear waivers. You can be damn sure that both Mike Sweeney and Pat Burrell pass Go. Even if a team – for some reason beyond all logic – wanted either Burrell or Sweeney, they'd likely let him clear rather than put in a claim, since their respective team would let them go, leaving the claiming team with the bloated contract.

Remember those Andruw Jones rumblings? They could re-surface in August, as Jones is owed roughly $17 million between this year and next. If they're slipping a little bit, the White Sox would likely put in a claim on him, as could the Blue Jays or Angels. The risk is that John Schuerholz will tell them to keep Andruw and the $17 mil owed to him. But the more likely scenario is that Mr. S tries to work out a deal with the lowest ranking bidder before revoking the waivers all together.

Think the Red Sox need outfield help still? Geoff Jenkins and his $10 million could pass through waivers. Shawn Green and Luis Gonzalez will clear; you'd better believe Richie Sexson, Jarrod Washburn, Joel Pineiro and Adrian Beltre will clear; Livan Hernandez should clear, and I'd put good money on his departure; Javy Lopez should clear and could be dealt. This is just a partial list, as many teams make it practice to place everyone on waivers and wait for the fallout.

It looks, however, like the Yankees are done shopping. Unless an opportunity arises for a more reliable starter, there are no real needs at this point, assuming Dotel will one day be back. And it all may be moot anyway. The Yankees can currently block any player from making his way to the Red Sox, but if there's a flip flop in the standings, there's a flip flop in the waiver order. So for the time being, I'm content with the Yankees in second place, since the Red Sox have more needs that could be filled via waivers.

But enough about maneuvering. It's time to concentrate on the games. I'll be there tonight, yo.