The latest from around MLB ...
- Cliff Lee was waived by the Phillies this week, and a number of folks tripped over themselves to report the amazing news. Except that it isn't amazing in the least - in August, virtually every player in baseball is subjected to waivers. In order to trade a player in August (after the non-waiver trade deadline), his team must first subject him to waivers. If he's claimed, the team can always pull him back and keep him, so there's very little risk in waiving him. Lee's case is modestly more interesting, because of gigantic contract and desired skills - he could be claimed, which would leave the Phillies with an interest decision. Let him go, and save some serious cash? Try to work out a trade? Pull him back and just keep him for the rest of the year? For more on making trades in August, here's a rundown from the Daily Dish. The system is such that, for the Cubs, trading guys like Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol will be no different than it would have been in July. That is to say: still difficult because of their contracts, but no more difficult now than two weeks ago.
- The Marlins could be getting Giancarlo Stanton back from knee surgery as soon as Tuesday, which may not help them return to playoff contention - that ship has sailed - but it could help bring one or two fans back to the ballpark to see his prodigious home runs. What else do they have?
- Rob Neyer looks at why the Rangers just called up big-time third base prospect Mike Olt when they've already got a starting third baseman (and a starting first baseman, for that matter). In short: because the kid can hit, and the Rangers can find at bats for him.
- The Colorado Rockies have reorganized their front office without, like, actually reorganizing it. Dan O'Dowd remains the top dog, in charge of a team that is floundering badly, and did virtually nothing at the trade deadline to improve itself for the long-term future.
- Jayson Werth is back with the Nationals after missing a couple months with a wrist injury. His contract remains one of the worst abominations in baseball, but that isn't to say the Nationals won't be better off with him in the lineup than with him out of it.
- It's been a slow recovery for David Ortiz, who's out with an achilles strain. He might not be back terribly soon, either.
- Ryan Dempster gave up eight earned runs in just 4.2 innings in his Rangers debut. Insert obligatory shoulda-gone-to-the-Braves joke.