The trade deadline was full of surprise for the Dodgers with the grand prize being the acquisition of Yu Darvish at the very last second. There may be more trades in store as we turn the calendar to August, but how is that possible if the trade deadline has already passed?
The answer is the waiver trade deadline. A quick explanation of the waiver period is each team puts a player on waivers, and if the player is claimed, the team that posted the player can trade them, pull them back or simply give them to the team. Seems simple enough right? Well in the Dodgers’ case it is not.
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This is because the order of claims goes from the worst record to the best record. This means any player posted by an NL team; Los Angeles would get the last picking. For an AL team, they would get second to last, which is not much better.
Yes, blockbuster trades are possible; look back at the Adrian Gonzalez trade. A lot of pieces have to fall in place for the trade to actually happen though, which is why it is not as big as the non-waiver trade deadline.
So why is this even a big deal you ask? Well, as presently constructed this Dodgers team is near perfect, but it could look for another bullpen piece if the Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani acquisitions don’t work out.
Who could the Dodgers be looking at as the deadline approaches? We got word that Justin Verlander cleared waivers which means that he can be traded to any team. Could this mean Los Angeles will trade for him? I doubt it so unless any unforeseen injury happens to the rotation, Verlander will not be in Dodger blue.
What about Brad Hand and Zach Britton? From all accounts the Padres have no interest in trading Hand for anything less than an elite package, which the Dodger front office will not give up, so he might be off the board.
Then there’s Zach Britton, who would be worth a top prospect or two, but, his issue is with his own team. Reportedly the Astros and Orioles had an agreement in place for the closer, but the Orioles owner, Peter Angelos, nixed it. Unless Angelos has a sudden change of heart, Zach Britton will not be a Dodger either.
What about a acquiring a bat to come off the bench? It’s already hard enough to balance out the guys the Dodgers currently have on the roster, and it will get even more challenging once Adrian Gonzalez returns. There have been murmurs of the Dodgers picking up a speed piece off the waiver wire, but I can’t see it happening especially with the already packed roster.
As much as I would like to see Los Angeles make another trade splash, it doesn’t seem too likely. Besides, LA has a great team at the moment, and there’s not much upgrading they could do in a trade anyways. Unless there is some injury or someone just goes completely cold, this is the team the Dodgers will run out for the rest of the year. And I don’t see any issue with that.