How to acquire players after the trade deadline

Not so long ago, every August in MLBTR began reminding old MLB fans (or explaining to new fans) how the amazing August trade waivers rules work. It was a complicated process – almost every player in the league was put into place revocable Commercial concessions at some point (heavy emphasis on ‘cancellable’) – but ones that are increasingly being used by front offices as a creative way to pull off important acquisitions after the supposed ‘deadline’.

In fact, under the old rules, the “trading deadline” was never the actual deadline – it wasn’t attractive to use the full term, “uncompromised trade deadline”. As time progressed, August served as a way to swap out higher-priced talent for concession deals that were still noteworthy. If you see Justin VerlanderAnd the Andrew McCutchenAnd the Josh Donaldson and others turning in late August, before the post-season eligibility deadline, was July 31 (or, in this year’s case, August 2) really the “dealing deadline?” Not much.

Back in 2019, Major League Baseball chose to crush the ever-growing process of remaking its August roster. The league put an end to the concessions that often served as a way for teams to hit the ‘take out’ button on notable contracts and saw bigger salary clubs take on these deals simply because they had the financial resources to do so. MLB has implemented a more realistic “real” trading deadline that prohibits players trading on Major League contracts – or anyone who has been in the Major League earlier in the season (i.e. players who have since expired) – from trading after the deadline.

Does this mean that teams can no longer acquire new players or treat injuries as they arise? No, but their ways of doing it are considerably narrower. Here’s a look at how the major league front offices can still grow their rosters now that the “real” trade deadline has passed:

1. Trading!

Wait what? I thought we –

Yes we did. But it turns out that the “real” trade deadline is really only the “real” trade deadline for major league players! Fun how this works, isn’t it? In all likelihood, you’ll still see many players swap hands this month, but they won’t be all that exciting. But, veterans who played the entire season under a minor league contract and were not at any point added to the 40-player roster or were on the major league injury list, are still fair game to trade.

Will you see any mega-popular names flipped? No, but can you see the x-ray trade Chase Anderson (4.38 ERA in 74 Round Triple A this season) or White Sox trade Dan Winkler (3.60 ERA, 39 strokes, but also 19 walks in 30 frames 3D)? yes! It cannot be against anyone who was on the 40-player or injured list in the Major League at any time in 2022.

The list of trades last August saw a few well-known names: Delino Deshields (twice!), Brad PeacockAnd the Dustin JarnowAnd the Mallex SmithAnd the John Oxford And the Andrew Vasquez They were all on the move either for marginal expectations or common “monetary considerations”.

Just to speculate a bit – and we haven’t really seen this in the past, but it’s technically possible – teams could technically engineer minor league deals, as long as the players in question weren’t on the 40-player list at any point. specific season. It’s doubtful we’ll see any major potential clients change in this regard, but that’s not explicitly forbidden either.

And just as it rains on your parade, no – teams can’t rig the system with players that are named later. The rules regarding the “real” trading deadline have taken care to include the following language:

“The Commissioner’s Office prohibits any transaction (or series of transactions) appearing (or appearing) in the Commissioner’s Office provision intended to circumvent the prohibitions of Rule 9(b).”

Nice try guys, but don’t get your hopes up.

Just remember that anyone acquired after August 31 is not eligible for post-season with their new club, so it’s likely that minor swaps will be made for any relevant note before the calendar turns to September. (MLBTR has confirmed with a source that although opening day has been pushed back and the trade deadline has fallen two days later than usual in 2022, the post-season eligibility deadline remains 11:59pm ET on August 31.)

It won’t lead to any exciting deals, but we’ll see some deals this month. You’ll just have to wait until the season ends Shuhei OhtaniAnd the Pablo LopezAnd the Sean MurphyAnd the Brian Reynolds, etc. Rumors of the shooting.


Revocable commercial waivers are no longer a thing, but the normal old express waivers and exemption waivers are still in place and well. Anytime a player is named for appointment now, the team’s only recourse will be to put them into outright waivers or exemptions. At this point, the other 29 teams will have the opportunity to claim this player… and his entire remaining contract. Of course, the team does not need to announce the DFA or even announce that a player has been placed on concessions. It is fairly common for a team to just announce that a player has authorized waivers and been transferred to a minor league subsidiary without publicly announcing the DFA.

An important reminder about waivers is now the primary means of acquiring talent from another organization: waivers are prioritized based on overall record (worst record to best record), and unlike the now-defunct “revocable business waivers,” Not a specific period. If the citizens want Denilson Lamet, who are set to be appointed this week, will have the first set out to demand a waiver of waivers; If they succeed, then A will be next. Then the royal family. And so on and so forth.

Teams that haven’t found enough interest in veteran players before the trading deadline and therefore stuck to them could eventually put those players in outright concessions in August, hoping another club will claim said player and save the conceding team some cash. This is more likely to happen later in the month – when there is less cash owed on those veteran contracts. We’ve only seen a few of these moves in the last year. Giants claimed Jose Quintana of angels. The Reds claimed Asdrobal Cabrera From quarterback D. This can also be seen as a way to give a non-compete veteran the opportunity to join the post-season race.

As with any minor league deals, players who have claimed waivers will be eligible for post-season with their new club only if claimed before 11:59 p.m. ET on August 31.

3. Register free agents

like ever. Anyone who is released or refuses an outright assignment in favor of a free agency will be able to sign with a new team, and as long as the deal is completed before September 1, they will be eligible for post-season with a new team. It’s certainly possible for a once-productive veteran to enjoy a hot streak with a new club or fill a useful part-time role. Likely to sign some team that has depth on the field and/or questionable defense Jackie Bradley Jr. For his gauntlet alone once he inevitably becomes a free agent in a few days (no one is claiming the remainder of his $9.5 million salary and the $8 million purchase option in his contract). Didi Gregory It was just cut by Phillies. Others will follow suit.

One key name to consider: Previous Mets All-Star Michael Comfort. The 29-year-old did not sign a contract last season after turning down a qualifying offer, and it was eventually revealed a shoulder injury during MLB’s lockdown that eventually required surgery. Now that the amateur draft has been passed, the team will no longer need to forfeit any draft picks for their signature. Agent Scott Porras said in May that there was a chance Conforto would be ready for the major league by September, and Porras said after the draft that I heard from four clubs About Conforto. Whether the team will actually sign Conforto, of course, will depend on the condition of that surgically repaired shoulder.

Outside of Conforto, this path might be unlikely to yield an influential play-off contributor – but it can’t be ruled out either. The brave take possession of Eddie Rosario At last year’s trade deadline, it wasn’t directly the same, but Rosario was effectively dumped into the lap of the Braves for a paycheck after hitting .254/.296/.389 in Cleveland. He spent several weeks on the hit list, then returned with one of the hottest heaters of his celebrity career, culminating in the NLCS MVP. Yes, this is a trade, but we still see teams hoping to “ditch the Warriors’ paycheck” in a similar fashion.

The point is: Just as Rosario did, the veteran hitter who lost out elsewhere can still play a key role in the post-season boost and even the playoff series. Cody Ross He may still be able to eat and drink for free in San Francisco for the rest of his life.

4. Clean up independent leagues

Roll your eyes however you like, but the Atlantic League, the Frontier League, and the American League (among other independent circuits) are all teeming with the former big leagues. Need a fast fourth defender who can provide some late game defense and key ball during the September roster expansion? Bat platoon off the bench? Extra south to stash in the oxen? There will be experienced names to consider.

Matt Adams He has 21 Homer in 306 games with the Kansas City Monarchs. Teammate, former Tigers/Red Sox left Matt Hall, has a 1.24 ERA and 65 strokes in 51 innings. left-handed fellow Tyler Webb He had similar success with Long Island Ducks.

Granted, teams are unlikely to find a real influential player on the indie scene, but then again, people cracked jokes when the 2015 Red Sox signed the then-35-year-old Ducks. Rich Hill. Seven years, 737 major league runs, and nearly $70 million later, Hill had one last laugh.

5. Look at foreign journals

We don’t often see players returning from the KBO, NPB or CPBL to sign for the big league clubs in the middle of the season, but there are precursor. There are also quite a few former top players who play an important role in the Mexican league, creating another front office area to explore as they mine for depth options. The interest will not only be limited to the former great players. Back in June, sailors fell to the left Brennan Bernardino After a solid nine-game run in Mexico, I saw him dominate through 12 2/3 rounds at Triple-A Tacoma, and selected him for the Major League roster by the end of July. He made his MLB debut with Seattle on July 31. You never know.