As of 2019, the waiver trade deadline was dead. It lasted from the conclusion of the non-waiver trade deadline all the way through Aug. 31, which gave teams an outside chance to buy or sell assets based on how they performed in the weeks after the non-waiver period.
Los Angeles Dodgers fans know the waiver deadline very well, because that's when the franchise made its blockbuster deal with the Boston Red Sox to bring in Adrian González, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto. Remember Marlon Anderson back in the early 2000s? Good times.
Once upon a time, there was a last-ditch effort to save your playoff hopes in August. Now? You better know who you are and what you're doing before the non-waiver deadline (even though this could all end up being history if MLB extends the non-waiver deadline into mid-August).
Why did MLB get rid of waiver trade deadline?
"The MLBPA's goal here was to increase baseball's level of competition (a hot topic in recent seasons, given concerns over tanking, especially after the union filed a grievance last year against four clubs that it felt had not spent adequate money on their payrolls). With a single trade deadline, front offices will no longer be able to sit through the summer, waiting to see if their roster ends up being competitive enough to merit an extra boost down the stretch. If they want to position themselves as buyers and make an extra investment in their club, they now have to make up their minds by July 31—not August 31." Emma Baccellieri of Sports Illustrated wrote back in 2019.
In short, it was banned because the Houston Astros wrongfully acquired Justin Verlander during the 2017 waiver period for essentially nothing (because the Detroit Tigers are stupid), which helped guide them to a World Series title.
This time around, even though the Dodgers did an excellent job of patching up their deficiencies with their moves before Aug. 2, it still wouldn't have hurt to be able to add a few more pieces now that 2023 has World Series aspirations written all over it.
What if the waiver deadline still existed? What do you think the Dodgers might've done?
3 waiver trades fans wish Dodgers could make in 2023
Rockies: Elias Diaz
Quick one here: it probably wouldn't have happened, but at this rate why wouldn't the Rockies consider getting assets from the Dodgers? And why wouldn't the Dodgers consider overpaying for a backup catcher instead of trotting Austin Barnes out there ... ever?
Diaz, a first-time All-Star in 2023, is making $5.5 million this year and $6 million next year. He has no future on a bleak Rockies team that's going nowhere anytime soon. There's not much of a reason for Colorado to keep him when they'd be better off getting rid of the money and acquiring younger talent. Diaz won't move the needle for them in 2024.
The Dodgers swapping out Barnes for Diaz could've made a huge difference since Barnes is providing absolutely nothing for them behind the plate when he taps in for Will Smith.