Friday, August 24, 2012

Going, going Gonzo? Waiver Rules explained.

Back to California for Adrian Gonzalez?

With all the talk about Adrian Gonzalez being claimed off of waivers by the Dodgers, and the talk of a possible blockbuster trade (including the albatross contracts of Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett...?), I thought it might be a good time to go over the actual rules and customs regarding waiver trades. 

  • After July 31st, all trades must be done through waivers, and if these players aren't acquired by August 31st, they are not eligible to play in the postseason.
  • Teams can put any players on waivers, and they do not need to tell the players in question.
  • Once a player is on waivers, other teams have 48 hours to put a claim in on that player.
  • If multiple teams put in a claim, the team with the worst record in the league the player is currently on. If no teams from that league make a claim, the player goes to the team with the worst record in the other league.
  • Once a player is claimed, their team has three options:
  1. They can pull the player back. If this happens, he cannot be traded for 30 days.
  2. They can work out a trade with the team that claimed him. Other players in the trade must also pass through waivers UNLESS they are not currently on a 40-man roster.
  3. They can simply give the player to the other team, getting nothing in return, but the new team must pay the player's remaining salary.
  • If no one claims the player, he can be traded to any team in the league.
Often, teams will put all twenty-five guys on the roster on waivers, just to see who tries to claim them,  and what they offer in return.  If it's not enough, players just get pulled back.  So the fact that Gonzalez was put on waivers is NOT that big of a deal - though the possible deal would likely be a huge one.

Stay tuned for further updates if/when the trade develops.

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