MLB’s July 31st non-waiver trade deadline has passed, and you know what that means: it’s waiver trade season! You know, that magical time of the year when the Twins put Joe Mauer on waivers and tons of Minnesotans who are predominantly Vikings fans freak out because they don’t know what that means.
In the NFL, waiving a player means they are cut from their current team. That is not the case with revocable waivers in MLB, which is the system used to make August trades.
So what are revocable waivers? Let’s brush up on it and what the Twins might do with them this year.
How do August waiver trades work?
After the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, MLB teams can still make trades using revocable waivers. These are different than other waivers in baseball, because teams can revoke them.
Still following? Good.
So, for example, say the Twins place Joe Mauer on waivers—and they probably will, because most teams put practically all of their players on waivers. Other teams then get a chance to claim exclusive rights to deal for Mauer, starting with the team with the worst record in the AL. If that team doesn’t claim Mauer, the team with the second worst record gets a shot, and so on and so fourth until they move all the way through the AL teams and then repeat the same thing with the NL teams.
If a team does “claim” Mauer, they have 48 hours to try and work out a trade with the Twins. The Twins can always refuse to deal him by revoking the waiver.
The thing is—no team is going to claim Mauer. Why? Because he has a giant contract, and the Twins also have the power to unilaterally hand Mauer and his entire contract to the claiming team if they ask for nothing in return.
Also, Mauer has a full no-trade agreement. Maybe Mauer was actually a bad example to use here. My Bad.
Anyway, if a team did claim Mauer, or any other player, and a deal didn’t happen in 48 hours, that’s it. The Twins can’t put that player through revocable waivers again that season. However, if a player passes through waivers unclaimed by all 30 teams, the player stays with the Twins, and they are free to try and deal him to any team, just like how regular trades work.
How often do these trades happen?
August waiver trades aren’t particularly rare. In the past ten seasons, the Twins have made eleven of them total, which is the sixth most among MLB teams. The last time the Twins made an August trade was in 2015, when they acquired reliever Neal Cotts from the Milwaukee Brewers. Remember that? I don’t.
A more memorable August trade maybe be like in 2014, when the Twins traded Josh Willingham to the Kansas City Royals, where he went on to the World Series. And, of course, 2013, when the Twins traded Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
What will the Twins do in 2017?
As mentioned, the Twins are going to put all (or practically all) of their players on waivers. All teams will. There is literally nothing for teams to lose. In fact, teams can sometimes learn more about the interest level in certain players by placing them all on revocable waivers.
The real question is which players the Twins might actually move in a deal. I split the players into three categories, from virtual no chance to being moves on revocable waivers to best chance to being moved on revocable waivers.
No Chance: Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Joe Mauer, Jose Berrios, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Jason Castro, Trevor Hildenberger, Adalberto Mejia, Taylor Rogers, Alan Busenitz, Tyler Duffey.
Maybe(?): Kyle Gibson, Ehire Adrianza, Chris Gimenez, Ryan Pressly, Eduardo Escobar, Robbie Grossman, Buddy Boshers, Dillon Gee, Brian Dozier.
More Likey: Bartolo Colon, Ervin Santana, Matt Belisle, Hector Santiago.
Keep in mind that there’s a good chance the Twins don’t end up moving any players on waivers this August.
What do you think? Who do you think the Twins should try to move? Who do you hope the Twins do not try to move? Is Joe Mauer too tall to move on waivers?
Keep in mind, however, the Twins could very well opt not to make a deal at atll.
Likeliness to be moved in a 2017 August waiver trade
|No Chance||Maybe?||More Likely|
|No Chance||Maybe?||More Likely|
|Miguel Sano||Kyle Gibson||Bartolo Colon|
|Byron Buxton||Ehire Adrianaza||Ervin Santana|
|Joe Mauer||Chris Gimenez||Matt Belisle|
|Jose Berrios||Ryan Pressly||Hector Santiago|
|Jorge Polanco||Eduardo Escobar||Brian Dozier|
|Max Kepler||Robbie Grossman|
|Eddie Rosario||Buddy Boshers|
|Jason Castro||Dillon Gee|