It’s Time to Change the Waivers/Claim/Trade Rule
Instead of talking about the Giants sleep walking through their opening game vs the hapless Rockies, I decided to write a mini-rant about a late season ritual that’s always bothered me….
Claiming a player to *block* another team from acquiring him via trade: One of the dumber, more antiquated tactics allowed in baseball today. With almost every player placed on waivers in August, and teams getting a shot at each of them in reverse standing order, there is zero reason for a team below a team with a better record to NOT put in a claim on a player. Heck, put in a claim on EVERY player. There’s no skill in that, just keep clicking the claim button like a trained pigeon. And worse, there is no consequence.
And there should be. I think that if a team puts in a claim on a player in August, even if they aren’t able to work out a trade, they have to surrender SOMETHING. A 10th round draft pick. 25K. A hallmark card apologizing to the rest of the league for wasting everyone’s time with a bogus claim ticket. S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G.
Take Javier Lopez for example. I actually support Sabean for waiting till the end of August to try to work out a deal. Unlike at the July 31st deadline, true contending teams have now thinned themselves out. And of those teams, their playoff needs have coalesced. Lopez has proven his playoff value and it is high. Having a sure fire bullet like Lopez to fire at a tough left handed hitter late in a playoff game is like gold (baby).
Of course, because 5 other teams put in a claim on him, 4 of which have no intention of actually trading for him, the idea of trading him now is almost a pipe dream. And that’s too bad. He’s of little value to us for the rest of the year, he could pull in a decent prospect from a team who actually wants to work out a deal.