Dodgers @ Cubs August 4, 2013: Please Ignore Waivers

August 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

wrigleyfieldI guess it’s the time of year where we need to have the “what are waivers” conversation, because Nick Cafardo’s report that the Dodgers have placed Brandon League on waivers has stirred a lot of questions to me, including some who wonder if that means he’s already off the team.

Here’s the short version: July 31 is the non-waiver trading deadline. After that, deals can still happen — remember, Joe Blanton and the Nick Punto deal both came in August last year — but players must be passed through waivers first. That is, every other team gets a chance to claim the player, and if they get through unclaimed, the team is free to trade them. If a player does get claimed, then a team can either choose to pull them back or allow the claiming team to just have them (or work out a trade with that team only). That’s how Manny Ramirez ended up in Chicago at the end of 2010, for example.

Dodgers
Cubs
LF
Crawford
CF
DeJesus
2B
M.Ellis
LF
Lake
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Rizzo
SS
Ramirez
C
Navarro
CF
Ethier
RF
Schierholtz
C
A.Ellis
3B
Ransom
RF
Schumaker
2B
Watkins
3B
Uribe
SS
Murphy
P
Fife
P
Villanueva

So what that means is that 99% of players in the game will get put on waivers, most will quickly get claimed and pulled back, and you’ll never hear about most of it. When you do hear about a guy like League going on waivers, all it means is that the process has begun; it doesn’t affect his standing on the active roster, and no team is going to be fool enough to claim him and risk getting stuck with the ~$16m remaining. League will almost certainly go unclaimed, and that’ll be that.

Got it? Good. Now on to today’s game: as expected, Stephen Fife has been activated to make his first start since July 6, pushing everyone back a day and allowing Zack Greinke to face the Cardinals rather than the Cubs. The corresponding move, surprisingly, is that Scott Van Slyke was optioned rather than making a move with Chris Withrow or Carlos Marmol, especially with Yasiel Puig resting today.

For the Cubs, regular third baseman Luis Valbuena has been placed on the disabled list with an oblique injury, and middle infielder Logan Watkins has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa to make his major league debut, starting at second base today. Mike Olt has been struggling terribly in the minors since being traded from Texas, in case you’re wondering why it’s not him. (You’re not.)

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