Post-Deadline deals tougher to make but valuable
Players must clear waivers to be moved to other teams via claims or trades
When the clock struck 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Major League Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline passed.
The wheeling, dealing and player movement, however, is far from over.
Sure, the Rangers, Angels, White Sox and Pirates have already upgraded their rotations with Ryan Dempster, Zack Greinke, Francisco Liriano and Wandy Rodriguez, respectively. The Dodgers acquired Hanley Ramirez to plug in behind Matt Kemp and Andre Either in the lineup and Shane Victorino to bat leadoff, and the Giants added offense by getting Hunter Pence from the Phillies.
The Tigers moved to stabilize their season-long struggles at second base by acquiring Omar Infante, while also deepening their rotation with right-hander Anibal Sanchez, and the division-rival White Sox fortified their young bullpen with veteran Brett Myers.
But there certainly will be more deals within the coming month, via the waiver wire.
Here's how it works. After the July 31 Deadline, any player on a 40-man roster must clear revocable Major League waivers before being traded. That means the player must be offered to all the other teams in reverse order of the standings. If no team claims him, he is free to be traded.
If he is claimed on waivers, the team that makes the waiver request can either withdraw it, keeping the player, let him go to the claiming team or make a deal with that team, which would pick up the player's remaining contract.
If more than one club in the same league makes a claim, then the club with the lesser record can get the player. If clubs in both leagues claim the player, preference goes to the club in the same league.
One recent example of a waiver claim is Cody Ross. The outfielder was put on waivers by the Marlins and claimed by the Giants in August 2010. The rest will forever be etched in Bay Area lore.
Ross helped the Giants win the National League West over the Padres, then hit a game-tying home run and knocked in the winning runs in two of the Giants' three National League Division Series wins against the Braves.
Then, the NL Championship Series came, and Ross hit four home runs against the vaunted Phillies rotation -- two off Roy Halladay -- en route to being named NLCS Most Valuable Player as the Giants went on to win their first World Series championship in San Francisco.
Even with his postseason heroics and a big fan following in San Francisco, Ross admitted he was hurt by being picked up for nothing.
"When I found out the way it went down, I was pretty upset, actually, to be honest with you," Ross said when asked if his feelings were hurt.
"And then hearing that they gave me away for nothing was ... it didn't settle with me very well. But let bygones be bygones. I'm in a way better place."
Waiver claims aren't the only way players can switch teams post-Deadline, as sometimes trades occur -- as long as the players involved have cleared waivers. There were a number that went down last year that helped eventual playoff teams.
The Tigers acquired outfielder Delmon Young from the Twins on Aug. 15. Young doubled his home run total in Detroit (eight compared to four in Minnesota) in fewer than half as many games (40 to 84) and hit .274 as the Tigers ran away with the American League Central before falling to the Rangers in the ALCS.
The D-backs and Blue Jays swapped second basemen on Aug. 23, as Aaron Hill was traded to Arizona for Kelly Johnson. Hill hit .315 and drove in 16 runs in 33 games with the D-backs, who went on to win the NL West.
The eventual AL-champion Rangers also solidified their bullpen with an Aug. 31 swap with the Orioles for left-hander Mike Gonzalez.
Big names have moved in August, as Adam Dunn (2008), Jamie Moyer (2006), Larry Walker (2004) and Rickey Henderson (1997) all switched teams after the Trade Deadline.
August trades are just like those made at other points in the season, when some teams are focused on the present and others the future. The famous Doyle Alexander-for-John Smoltz trade between the Tigers and Braves happened in August 1987. That was a year after the Trade Deadline was moved from June 15.
Yes, the intrigue will continue, even as the Deadline passes.