Yesterday, I talked about the trade value of Ryan Braun as we enter the waiver trade deadline period. However, I didn’t discuss much about the period beyond that. It can be a complicated period to understand, so let’s take a little time to discuss it.
Let’s start with how the waiver trade deadline works. Any time a team wants to trade a player currently on the 40-man roster, they will have to put that player on revocable waivers first. This will happen to most (if not all) players on 40-man rosters in the next few weeks, since there is no risk to it. If the player is not claimed, that player is eligible to be traded to any team for the remainder of the season. If the player is claimed, the original team has a window of 48 hours to try to work out a trade with the claiming team. The original team can then do one of three things:
- Revoke the waiver claim and pull the player back. That player cannot be put on revocable waivers again for the remainder of the season.
- Trade him to the claiming team. Any players currently on the 40-man roster involved in the trade would have to clear waivers at least far enough that the claiming team can take them (more on this shortly). Players not on the 40-man roster involved in the trade do not have to clear waivers.
- Allow the waiver claim to be processed. The claiming team takes the player and is responsible for the full salary still owed to that player.
These trades can happen for the remainder of the season, but August 31 is seen as an unofficial “waiver trade deadline” because players added after this date are ineligible for the postseason. Because of this, most trades are completed by this date, though a few may happen in the month of September.
Another important note in this process is how the waiver order works. The original league (NL or AL) that the player is coming from gets the first opportunity to claim, in reverse order of the standings. If no team in that league wants the player, then the other league gets chance, also in reverse order. In the Brewers case, if the Brewers try to acquire any players within the NL, players would only need to clear the four or five teams worse than them to claim a player as part of a trade. If it’s an interleague trade, the player would have to clear all of the AL teams, as well as the four or five NL teams worse than them.
Here are the candidates on the Brewers that could be on the move during this waiver period:
I discussed Ryan Braun’s trade potential in another article yesterday, so I won’t go too far into detail on that here. The short version of it: He’s got plenty of value and will not be traded simply for salary relief.
Of the candidates in this section, Boyer is the one that I believe is the most likely to be traded during this period. He’s got the perfect profile for an August trade candidate. He’s on a one-year deal, he’s been pitching well (3.55 ERA / 3.83 FIP), and his contract isn’t a burden. While the return won’t be too big, he should command a prospect or two in a trade. A good comparison may be the Jonathan Broxton trade from last season, where the Brewers acquired Malik Collymore from the Cardinals. The return for Boyer should be a bit better than that, but considering he will be a free agent after the season, any return they Brewers can get for him would be welcome..
Carter has been exactly what we expected this season. His batting average is low, but he’s sustained by a decent OBP and good power (.218/.305/.486). His 25 home runs lead the team, but so does his 137 strikeouts. The Brewers may need to get a good return for Carter to be motivated to move him, though. With two more years of team control, there’s no reason to make a trade unless necessary.
Let’s be honest: A trade of Matt Garza during this waiver period is unlikely. However, it’s not impossible. In fact, during a radio broadcast yesterday in Milwaukee, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Garza is traded during this period. So far this season, Garza has recorded a 5.32 ERA and 4.42 FIP in nine starts. He’s owed $13 million next season. However, he also has an option for 2018 that will be cheap. It will likely be a $5 million option, but could drop to $1 million if he spends enough time on the disabled list. There’s some value in that contract. It’s likely that Garza would clear waivers, so a trade involving him would not be as difficult. There’s also the possibility that, in the event Garza is claimed, the Brewers could let him go. It’s not as likely, as GM David Stearns wants to get as much value as possible. The important thing to remember here is to not count anything out with Garza.
Torres is another reliever that could be traded during this period. He’s been pitching well (2.72 ERA / 3.75 FIP), and the Brewers do have two more years of control over him. However, he’s not as much in the future plans of the Brewers as other players. It’s a similar situation to Carter for him: If the Brewers can get a good return, they should move him now. If not, they can hold onto him.
The trade season isn’t over yet, though the major part of it may be done. Rumors will still come out over the next few weeks, some going nowhere while others may lead to a trade. Get ready to watch the market and see how it develops in the month of August.