News item from earlier this week:
BREAKING: The Los Angeles Angels have placed starter Lucas Giolito, relievers Matt Moore and Reynaldo López, and outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk on waivers, sources tell ESPN. Huge potential playoff implications: All can be claimed by teams for free on Thursday.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 29, 2023
Several other teams have also asked waivers on veteran players, including Harrison Bader, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger and José Cisnero. These appear to be salary dumps, and in particular for the Angels, they’re looking to get under the luxury tax. It’s been a very strange year in Anaheim, where instead of trading impending free agent Shohei Ohtani, they decided to go for a playoff spot this year. It backfired — the Angels went 8-19 in August and are out of contention. If they get under the tax, the compensation pick they’d get for losing Ohtani would be after the second round instead of after the fourth round.
No one connected with the Angels will ever admit that publicly, of course, but that’s why they’re waiving all those players. Some of them, undoubtedly, will be claimed. But unlike previous Augusts where players could be waived and have teams pull them back and possibly work out trades, the rules have been changed.
There are no trades allowed, period, after the August 1 deadline — except for players not on 40-man rosters, and some of those deals have happened this August, minor-league trades.
If a team asks waivers on a player now, as the Angels (and other teams) have done, the waivers are considered irrevocable. If any of those players get claimed, they belong to the claiming team, along with the remainder of their salary. As it turns out, there are 31 days remaining in the season as of today, and the MLB season is 186 days long, so remaining salaries for any claimed players would be exactly one-sixth of their total, making the math easy.
The Cubs could use some pitching help. When the Angels list came out I thought the Cubs might be interested in Lucas Giolito. But for now, the team’s rotation seems pretty decent and there’s about $1.9 million remaining on Giolito’s contract. That would put the Cubs very, very close to the luxury tax, if not over it, and they appear to absolutely, positively not want to do that.
Would Reynaldo Lopez help out the Cubs in relief? He’s had a pretty good year, though his walk rate is a bit high.
In the end I think the Cubs will probably not claim anyone. The waiver claim order is the reverse order of standings through Wednesday’s games. Obviously, about the first 15 or so teams aren’t going to be claiming players, so the Cubs would wind up picking behind the teams they’re competing with in the wild-card race — Reds, Diamondbacks, Giants, a couple others. This article contains the complete waiver order through Tuesday. There are more details about this whole thing in this article from The Athletic.
We should know all about this by midday today. The waiver claim deadline is 12 noon CT. Today is also the deadline to have a player in a team’s organization to have that player be postseason-eligible.
As always, we await developments.
Will the Cubs claim anyone on waivers today?
This poll is closed