It may have been a big letdown to some, as the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline came and went for Major League Baseball. The big players, the Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, and Detroit Tigers–all made impact moves to either make a run at a World Series title this season, or to reload with an eye towards next season. The Padres? They dealt a couple of big parts, as Chase Headley went to the New York Yankees for utility man Yangervis Solarte and minor leaguer Rafael De Paula. They also sent closer Huston Street up the freeway to Anaheim, as he is now the closer for the Angels, and in return, four better than average minor league prospects. The final piece? Chris Denorfia was sent to the Pacific Northwest in exchange for a pair of throw away pieces.
So why talk trades now? Now that the non-waiver trading deadline has ended, the waiver trading deadline has started. How does that work? A team can put a player on waivers, and depending on the league the player is in, he must clear every team in his respective league, starting from worst record to best, and if nobody from his league claims him, then teams from the opposing league can place a waiver claim on that player, starting again, from worst record to first. If nobody claims him, he remains on waivers until someone either claims him, or the team pulls him back.
If a team does put a player on waivers, and a team claims that player, the two teams can do one of a handful of things. They can work out a deal to move the player from the original team to the team that has claimed him on waivers within two business days. The team who placed the player on waivers may decided to pull him back, thus canceling the waiver. In this case, the team may not place the player on waivers again that season. Finally, the team who placed the player on waivers, can allow the claiming team to simply take on the remainder of that player’s contract, without compensation of any sort, and the team giving up the player will pay a waiver fee, and the deal is done.
So again, how does that affect the Padres? The team moved several pieces, but they may want some roster flexibility along with unloading some financial responsibilities with a new general manager getting ready to come in. Who are the players that San Diego would consider moving?
According to MLB Insider and CBS Sports Baseball writer, Jon Heyman, the Padres have two players: Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit, who could both find themselves on waivers very soon. Heyman believes that Kennedy would be claimed quickly, due to his strikeout to walk ratio, and his affordable contract, given his current ability and standing.
As for new closer Joaquin Benoit, Heyman states that his $8 million dollar deal may scare off some teams that can’t afford to pay that to a non-exclusive closer, but says that a team like the New York Yankees, would are looking for bullpen depth, would jump all over a player like that. The waiver trading deadline ends on August 31st.