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There’s Still Time for the Padres to Make a Trade: a Refresher on August Waiver Trades

While I realize it’s not even been forty-eight hours since the trade deadline, it seems like the disappointment that nothing developed on the Brad Hand front is going to linger for a bit, especially given all the hype and chatter the last month.  Yet, it is hard to fault A.J. Preller when the landscape shifted to be a buyer’s market, with most bullpen needy teams bargain hunting and dumpster diving.

If there is a silver lining outside of the team not selling Hand for pennies on the dollar, I’d say it’s that there’s still plenty of time for the Padres to make a trade in August via Major League Baseball’s waiver system.   Now, waiver deals can be a confusing process to sort through and seldom involve big name players, so don’t expect Hand to be moved; however, there’s a reasonable chance that injury for a contending team could compel them to have interest in the likes of Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, or Kirby Yates.

Regardless, I thought it would be beneficial to review briefly the process of August trades:

  • A team may place any major league player on revocable waivers, and actually, most non-contending teams will place a large portion of their roster on waivers to conceal who they actually intend to trade.
  • If a player is claimed, then the player’s team has three options: ) work out a trade with team b.) revoke that player from waivers, or c.) let the claiming team have the player and the salary that comes with it.  Since the Padres may be looking to buy low on some guys to flip next season or trying to find some pitchers to eat innings, it’s possible that either (c.) or parting with a fringe prospect could bring another player or two to San Diego.
  • If multiple teams place a claim on a player, then the claim is awarded to the team with the worst record in the same league as the player’s team. Should no team in a player’s league claim him, then the claim would be awarded to the claiming team with the worst record in the other league.
  • If no team claims the player, then the player’s team is free to trade him to any team until the end of the month.
  • Now, should a player’s team, unable to reach an agreement with a claiming team, revoke a player from waivers, they cannot do so again in August. This is to say that if a team would place that player on waivers again, then they would have no choice but to trade him to the claiming team or allow the other team to take him.
  • Once a player is claimed, the player’s team has roughly 48 hours to make a trade or revoke the player.
  • Additionally, a player be traded via the waiver system in September, but that player will be deemed ineligible for the postseason.

There’s a few minor details that you can read further about at the Cub’s Reporter, but this is the gist of how trades work this month.  So if you happen to wake up one day and read that Brad Hand was placed on waivers, don’t fret too much because he likely isn’t going anywhere before the offseason, barring a catastrophic injury to a contender and even then, it’s unlikely.  Nevertheless, there’s still hope that the Padres can cash in one of their assets or add a reclamation project before the season’s end.

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