The waiver process goes like this. Each team, in reverse order of the overall standings this season, gets a chance to claim a player. If a claim is made, the original team has three options:
1. Let the player go without compensation
2. Take the player off waivers to make him untradeable
3. Work out a trade with the claiming team
It’s a second opportunity for a team like the Yankees, who didn’t make a non-waiver deadline deal for the first time since 1999.
Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez and his $39 million contract will still be available, as Houston wants to cut its payroll to $60 million. If a ballclub still needs a bat, Josh Willingham could land somewhere.
It also gives teams who fall out of contention, like the Twins or Rays, a chance to dispose players whose contracts end at the conclusion of the regular season.
We’ve seen several significant deals made after the non-waiver deadline over the years.
In 2001, with the Cardinals five games back of the wild card, they obtained starting pitcher Woody Williams for outfielder Ray Lankford. St. Louis got hot and won the wild card by three games.
The Cards landed Larry Walker from the Rockies in 2004 to add depth to their lineup. They won the pennant but fell to the Red Sox in four games in the World Series.
The Phillies got pinch-hit specialist Matt Stairs in 2008. He hit the big go-ahead home run in Game 4 of the NLCS to beat the Dodgers.
Lastly, the Giants acquired Cody Ross last year. He won the 2010 NLCS MVP en route to a World Series crown for San Francisco.
You’ll notice that I’ve used midseason and preseason prospect rankings in this piece.
BA: Baseball America
KL: Keith Law
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30. Houston Astros (35-73)
The Astros cleaned house with the trades of outfielders Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn.
They received four players in return for Hunter Pence, two of which are top-50 prospects. First baseman Jonathan Singleton (BA: 41, KL: 24 midseason) was the Phillies’ top hitting prospect, while Jarred Cosart (BA: 43, KL: 17 midseason) was their top pitching prospect. The Astros also obtained pitcher Josh Zied and a player to be named.
The Braves deal for Michael Bourn centered on 24-year-old outfielder Jordan Schafer. Schafer played in 50 games in 2009 and hit just .204. He has a .240 average so far this season.
To go along with Schafer, Houston obtained three more pitchers, but none from the Braves’ “big four” prospects. They acquired lefty Brett Oberholtzer (BA Atlanta No. 9 preseason), Paul Clemens (No. 26) and Juan Abreu (No. 27).
29. Baltimore Orioles (42-63)
Balimore’s been in a free fall over the last month, going 7-20 in July.
They did make two deals for rental players Koji Uehara and Derrek Lee. No one bit on Vladimir Guerrero or Mike Gonzalez, two more players whose contracts expire at the end of the season.
No one bit on Jeremy Guthrie either, who leads baseball with 14 losses.
The Rangers, who are stacked at first base, traded Chris Davis to Baltimore for Uehara. He’s always torn up the minor league level, but he’s had an up-and-down MLB career.
In exchange for Lee, the Orioles got High-A first base prospect Aaron Baker.
28. Chicago Cubs (43-65)
You would’ve thought that Kosuke Fukudome wouldn’t be the only Cub on the move before the trading deadline.
Chicago traded Fukudome to the Indians for pitcher Carlton Smith and outfielder Abner Abreu. Smith is a 25-year-old Triple-A prospect who has a 4.20 career ERA in seven years in the minors. Abreu is a High-A 21-year-old with a strong arm.
First baseman Carlos Pena and outfielders Marlon Byrd, Reed Johnson and Alfonso Soriano were all rumored to be on the move, but all stayed put. Soriano was a stretch because of his salary, but to not trade Pena was surprising.
Of course, there is the waiver deadline.
27. Seattle Mariners (45-62)
Seattle’s 17-game losing streak caused the Mariners to sell instead of buy at the trade deadline.
They parted with two starters, Erik Bedard and Doug Fister, and reliever David Pauley. Triple-A pitcher Josh Fields was also dealt.
The injury-prone Bedard and Fields went to Boston in a three-team trade that also included the Dodgers. In return, Seattle acquired outfielders Trayvon Robinson (BA Dodgers No. 10 preseason) and Chih-Hsien Chiang.
Doug Fister and David Pauley went to Detroit for infielder Francisco Martinez (BA Tigers No. 4 preseason), outfielder Casper Wells, left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush and a player to be named later.
26. Kansas City Royals (46-62)
Kansas City is another team that shockingly didn’t part with one of its two rumored outfielders on the block in Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur. Even Joakim Soria’s name was brought up, but all three stayed put.
They made two minor deals so third baseman Mike Moustakas could get playing time.
They traded infielder Mike Aviles to Boston for infielder Yamaico Navarro and pitcher Kendal Volz.
Wilson Betemit went to Detroit for left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz and catcher Julio Rodriguez.
25. San Diego Padres (47-62)
Heath Bell thought he had a 99 percent chance of being traded.
The Padres’ asking price for the three-time All-Star was high. In the end, they felt the two draft picks they would get as compensation when Bell goes elsewhere after the season were worth more.
Underrated setup man Mike Adams was the only key cog from the bullpen traded. He went to Texas for two pitchers, lefty Robbie Erlin (BA Rangers No. 4 preseason) and righty Joe Wieland.
Outfielder Ryan Ludwick went to Pittsburgh for a player to be named or cash.
Luke Gregerson or Chad Qualls could be involved in a waiver deal.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers (48-59)
The Dodgers were unable to unload Hiroki Kuroda due to his no-trade clause, but shortstop Rafael Furcal waived his no-trade clause to move to St. Louis.
In return for Furcal, the Dodgers acquired outfielder Alex Castellanos. He hit .319 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI for the Double-A Cardinals.
The Dodgers were also involved in the three-team Bedard deal. They received catcher Tim Federowicz and pitchers Juan Rodriguez and Stephen Fife.
23. Washington Nationals (51-56)
The Nationals surprised me by trading for the struggling Jonny Gomes from Cincinnati. He is signed until 2012.
There were rumors about Minnesota outfielder Denard Span coming over, but that never materialized.
Jayson Werth’s been the huge disappointment so far this season. He’s hitting just .223—yikes!
22. Oakland Athletics (49-59)
Oakland made just one move on the trading deadline, and it wasn’t slugger Josh Willingham.
The A’s dealt Brad Ziegler to Arizona for first baseman Brandon Allen and left-handed pitcher Jordan Norberto.
Allen was rated fourth in the 2010 preseason prospect list by Baseball America. He’s struggled so far in 65 total games in the bigs over the course of three seasons. He’s hitting just .213, but he’s still just 25.
Relievers Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes were also rumored to be on the block, but they stayed.
21. Minnesota Twins (50-58)
I don’t know what to make of this team.
I’m still not counting them out yet based on their history of resiliency, but besides their hot streak in June, the Twins just can’t seem to string wins together.
They’re seven games back in the awful AL Central but refused to be sellers at the deadline.
We’ll see how August goes for them.
If they get to be 10 games back, then they may decide to make some waiver deals involving Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome.
20. Florida Marlins (53-55)
Jack McKeon’s righted the ship in Florida, but they just fell too far back in the standings under Edwin Rodriguez.
The Josh Johnson injury was a huge blow.
Closer Leo Nunez and infielder Omar Infante were talked about as trade bait, but the Marlins didn’t find a suitor.
19. Colorado Rockies (51-57)
Obviously Ubaldo Jimenez hasn’t been the same since his amazing start to the first half of last season, but I still think dealing him was a mistake.
The overall velocity on his fastball has been down about two MPH this season, so maybe Colorado knows something I don’t.
They got Cleveland’s top pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz (BA: 14, KL: 35 midseason) and also landed Alex White, who was rated higher in the preseason (BA Indians No. 2 preseason).
In addition, the Rockies got pitcher Joseph Gardner (BA Indians No. 9 preseason) and utility player Matt McBride.
18. Chicago White Sox (52-54)
The White Sox didn’t really have to make a move; they just need to get Adam Dunn and Alex Rios going.
Dunn is hitting a putrid .164 with just 10 homers, while Rios is at .207.
They did move Edwin Jackson to St. Louis in a wild three-team deal that also involved Toronto. In return, they received relievers Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart.
Maybe they should’ve kept Daniel Hudson.
17. New York Mets (55-53)
The Mets have played some good ball lately despite Jose Reyes’ injury and the departures of Carlos Beltran to San Francisco and Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee.
In the Beltran deal, the Mets acquired pitcher Zack Wheeler (BA: 35, KL: 31 midseason). Wheeler’s struggled with command of his fastball, but he’s still just 21.
16. Cleveland Indians (53-52)
The Indians and Pirates have been the biggest surprises thus far this season, but they approached the trading deadline differently.
The Indians weren’t afraid to give away some of their young talent to snatch Ubaldo Jimenez.
They picked up Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs due to the injuries to Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo.
To make room for second baseman Jason Kipnis (BA: 31, KL:49 midseason), the Indians moved Orlando Cabrera to San Francisco for outfielder Thomas Neal.
Another rookie, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, has struggled with a .239 average in just 21 games.
On June 1, the Indians stood at 33-20. In the two months since then, they’re just 20-32.
15. Pittsburgh Pirates (54-52)
Pittsburgh was conservative at the trade deadline but still added two much-needed bats in outfielder Ryan Ludwick and first baseman Derrek Lee.
After Sunday’s game against Philadelphia, I bet the Pirates faithful wanted bullpen help after Jose Veras gave up a game-tying two-run home run to Raul Ibanez.
They’ve fallen off a bit in their last 10 games (3-7) since being in first place. They’re now 4.5 games back of Milwaukee.
14. Cincinnati Reds (53-55)
The Reds have a run differential of plus-40, yet they’re currently in fourth place in the NL Central.
They’ve yet to find consistent starting pitching, as they continue to play musical chairs with their staff. Johnny Cueto has been the only starter who’s stepped up, as he leads baseball with a 1.88 ERA (in just 100.2 IP, so he barely qualifies).
There was talk of possibly moving catcher Ramon Hernandez so the Reds could bring up Devin Mesoraco (BA:15, KL: 6), but that didn’t happen.
They did trade Jonny Gomes to make room for Yonder Alonso, who’ll be playing some left field.
The Reds are the Twins of the AL Central—you’re just waiting for them to get on a tear.
13. Toronto Blue Jays (55-53)
Toronto was involved in that crazy three-way deal with St. Louis and Chicago that involved Edwin Jackson. It traded away relievers Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski, outfielder Corey Patterson and three players to be named or cash to St. Louis for outfielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Brian Tallet, Trever Miller and P.J. Walters.
The Blue Jays got the crown jewel of the trade in Rasmus, as long as he listens to his manager.
Toronto was also reportedly involved in the Wandy Rodriguez sweepstakes.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (57-51)
I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes with Colby Rasmus, but in my opinion I’m still a bit confused why they would part with him. I guess the Cardinals are trying everything to bring Albert Pujols back. Rasmus just didn’t get along with Tony La Russa, batting coach Mark McGwire and Pujols.
Granted, they did add bullpen help as well in Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski.
Fernando Salas has been the guy to close games for them, but I bet Cardinals fans would’ve loved to see Heath Bell in a Cardinals uniform.
They also added Rafael Furcal from the Dodgers to insure some defense at shortstop. Defense has been their Achilles heel all season long.
11. Detroit Tigers (57-51)
Besides Justin Verlander, the Tigers haven’t gotten the consistent starting pitching they were looking for. They thought Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello would progress, but that hasn’t been the case.
So Detroit traded for consistent starter Doug Fister and bullpen help in David Pauley.
Joaquin Benoit wasn’t worth the money as a setup man in the eighth, although Jose Valverde has had another solid season as the closer.
With their lineup, as long as they get consistency with their pitching, the Tigers should represent the AL Central in the postseason.
10. Tampa Bay (56-51)
Tampa Bay started the day 10.5 games back in the AL East and 8.5 games back of the wild card.
With the call-up of Desmond Jennings (BA: 20, KL: 8 midseason), everyone assumed that B.J. Upton would be gone.
Well, that didn’t happen.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks (59-49)
Just like their season, the moves the Diamondbacks made at the deadline were under the radar.
They added starter Jason Marquis and reliever Brad Ziegler, not big moves. Marquis brings them a veteran starter to add to an underrated one-two punch of Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson. Ziegler adds depth to the bullpen, which just got closer J.J. Putz back.
They’re only two games back of the Giants in the NL West. The Diamondbacks might be young in terms of talent, but they’re very balanced. They have a solid lineup and starting rotation.
8. Los Angeles Angels (59-50)
While the Rangers made some key moves at the deadline, the Angels stayed put.
Although Vernon Wells, hitting just .212, has been a huge disappointment, the lineup has been fairly balanced. The one-two punch of Jered Weaver and Dan Haren has certainly kept them alive in the west.
Jordan Walden has done a tremendous job in the closer’s role after taking over for Fernando Rodney earlier in the season.
7. Milwaukee Brewers (60-49)
The Brewers have won six straight and now hold a 2.5-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central.
Milwaukee made the first significant move at the deadline with the acquisition of Francisco Rodriguez to shore up the bullpen on July 15.
Due to the Rickie Weeks injury, the Brewers traded for Felipe Lopez and Jerry Hairston Jr.
On offense, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun have carried the lineup all season long.
6. San Francisco Giants (61-47)
Adding Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco lineup helps, but it’s still far from potent. Losing catcher Buster Posey and second baseman Freddy Sanchez hindered things.
San Francisco did acquire Jeff Keppinger and Orlando Cabrera to help out at second base.
The Giants lead baseball with a 3.08 team ERA. It’s been ugly, but it worked for them last season.
5. Texas Rangers (61-48)
Texas made sure that nothing in the postseason would go wrong late in games like it did in Game 1 of last year’s ALCS.
The Rangers picked up Koji Uehara and Mike Adams not only to help out in the bullpen, but also to take the pressure off a thin pitching staff. Neftali Feliz will still close despite an up-and-down year.
As long as Texas gets pitching, it could be back in the Fall Classic, because it can put up some runs.
4. Atlanta Braves (63-46)
In terms of helping a team need, Atlanta came out on Sunday with the best option it could’ve wished for in Michael Bourn. The Braves are 26th in MLB in stolen bases with 42. Bourn has 39 stolen bases on his own on the season.
The Braves have been looking for a prototypical leadoff man the entire season and finally got one in Bourn. He can also go get it in center field.
With a deep starting staff and bullpen, the Braves built for the postseason.
Dan Uggla’s finally getting it together.
3. New York Yankees (64-42)
For the first time since 1999, the Yankees did not make a move at the trading deadline. There was talk about acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, which could still happen before the waiver deadline.
The offense is loaded, but the starting staff could use more depth. Phil Hughes continues to struggle.
The back end of the bullpen has been fine. Instead of Rafael Soriano handling the setup role—I know he’s been hurt—it’s been David Robertson. Mariano Rivera and that cutter continue to shut opponents down in the ninth.
2. Boston Red Sox (66-40)
It was a thin group of starting pitchers available at the 2011 trading deadline. After Rich Harden failed his physical, Boston targeted Erik Bedard, another pitcher with a rich medical history.
Jon Lester and Josh Beckett have been the two most reliable starters. Clay Buchholz got put on the 60-day DL on Sunday due to a bad back.
The offense leads baseball in runs scored (586), and Adrian Gonzalez appears to be on his way to an AL MVP award.
1. Philadelphia Phillies (68-39)
Although they overpaid a bit to get him, the Phillies got the man they wanted all along in Hunter Pence.
He essentially replaces Jayson Werth in the fifth spot behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Charlie Manuel’s been experimenting with who to put in the five hole all season long.
Although some young arms like Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes have come along, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phillies dealt for bullpen help before the waiver deadline.
Brad Lidge is back, but his velocity isn’t what it once was.
This is when Charlie will count on his starting staff to go as many innings as possible in the postseason.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!