With the July 31st trade deadline having coming and gone, the Mets were able to trade Lucas Duda and Addison Reed for a quintet of hard throwing right-handed relief prospects. Unfortunately, the Mets were unable to move other trade assets in Jay Bruce, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, or any number of the veterans on the roster who could help a contender.
Now, the trade deadline having passed doesn’t mean those players cannot be traded. Rather, it means those players cannot be traded unless they go through the waiver process. This is why you will see a number of players, even presumably untouchable players like Yoenis Cespedes, start to be put on revocable waivers starting as early as August 1st. All of these players are put through waivers so they can begin to facilitate August trades.
Typically, August trades are presented as being overly complicated. They’re not. In fact, there are three situations wherein a players is traded in August: (1) Player Was Unclaimed; (2) Team Claims Player; or (3) Player Not On 40 Man Roster.
Player Was Unclaimed
When a player is put on waivers, they remain on waivers for 47 hours. Should a player go unclaimed after that time period, that player can be freely traded to any other team during the month. The one caveat here is the player being traded can only be traded for another player who has cleared waivers, a player not on another team’s 40 man roster, or everyone’s favorite, a player to be named later.
Team Claims Player
In the event another team claims a player, there are three things a team can do. First and foremost, a team can revoke the waiver request on that player. In the aforementioned example of Cespedes, if another team were to claim him, the Mets can very simply revoke the request. If and when the Mets do that, Cespedes remains a member of the Mets, and he cannot be traded until the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Now, it is the situation where a player claims a player that things can get complicated. However, the complication is in the explanation more than in how it is handled.
During the the 47 hour time period a player is put on waivers, the other 29 Major League teams have an opportunity to put in a waiver claim. Keep in mind, this is not like a poker table where everyone knows if you pass or not. All teams make the decision ignorant of what the other teams are doing. If a player is claimed off waivers, his team can only trade him to the team that was awarded the waiver claim. That process is determined by waiver priority.
The team that has waiver priority is the team in the same league who has the worst record. For example, if the Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks were to put in a waiver claim on Walker, the Pirates would be deemed to have claimed Walker off waivers because their record is worse than the Diamondbacks record.
If no team in the National League claims Walker, then the process is repeated in the American League. Using a similar hypothetical, the Tampa Bay Rays will be deemed to have claimed Walker off waivers over the Cleveland Indians because the Rays record is worse than the Indians.
In a situation where a player is claimed by teams in both leagues, the process first looks at the league and then the record. For example, if the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox both put in a claim for Walker, the Dodgers will have won the claim because they are a National League team. The fact the Dodgers have the best record in baseball and the White Sox have the worst record in the American League does not come into the equation.
Now, once a team has been awarded the waiver claim, the teams have 48.5 hours to work out a trade. If the teams cannot work out a deal in that time frame, the player returns to his original team, and he cannot be traded for the rest of the season.
The final possibility here is the player is claimed, and his team lets the player go to the new team without looking for anything in return.
Player Not On 40 Man Roster
The aforementioned rules only apply to players not on the 40 man roster. Hypothetically, another team an be interested in a player not on another team’s 40 man roster. For example, a team looking for left-handed relief help could reach out to the Mets about Alberto Baldonado, who has limited left-handed batters to a .222 batting average in Triple-A. As Baldonado is not on the 40 man roster, the Mets can execute this hypothetical trade at any time.
These rules only apply to players put on revocable waivers. If a player is placed on irrevocable waivers, once that player is claimed, there are no trade discussions because that player automatically switches teams with the trade.
Another important consideration is once a player is a player can only be put on revocable waivers just once. If a player is put through revocable waivers, gets claimed, and is returned to his original team, that’s it. After that, the player can only be put on irrevocable waivers.
Another important factor is a player with a non-trade clause or 10-and-5 rights can still block a trade to another club. However, while that player can block the trade, they cannot block being moved to another team on a straight waiver claim.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, for the player to be eligible for the postseason, the deal will have to be consummated by August 31st. If a deal is not struck by that date, the player can play on the other team until the end of the regular season, but that player cannot appear on a postseason roster.
It’s no secret the major league club has had bullpen issues. Jerry Blevins pitches in far too many games. Jeurys Familia is possibly done for the year. Fernando Salas and Addison Reed aren’t the pitchers they were last year. Both Josh Smoker and Hansel Robles have been sent down to Triple-A due to ineffectiveness. Somehow Rafael Montero is still on the major league roster, and he does not appear to be in jeopardy of being sent back to Vegas.
Part of the reason for that is the 51s relievers have been struggling mightily of late. Worse yet, it is the arms who were possibly closest to making the major leagues that are struggling the most.
Kevin McGowan started the year using his big fastball to strike batters out at high clip. More than racking up strikeouts, McGowan was keeping runners of the bases. He had a 0.700 WHIP to go along with a sterling 0.90 ERA. With him harnessing his stuff, and the major league bullpen struggling, it appeared as it he might get his chance sooner or later. Well, it is going to be later. Since May 4th, he’s appeared in six games, and he has allowed two plus runs in four of those appearances. His last appearance was a disastrous 0.2 appearance where he allowed six earned.
Another pitcher who has struggled of late is Alberto Baldonado. The left-handed pitcher was getting both righties and lefties out in Double-A leading to his promotion to Triple-A. Since joining the 51s, Baldonado has been hit hard. In his six appearances, he has a 10.80 ERA and a 1.350 WHIP. He’s become less of a cross-over reliever and more of a LOOGY with right-handed batters hitting .261 off of him. It’s a large reason why Baldonado has allowed three earned runs in two of his last three appearances.
Both McGowan and Baldonado have presumably surpassed Erik Goeddel on the depth chart. In 2014 and 2015, Goeddel had been a good major league reliever pitching to a 2.48 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP. Last year he struggled, and he would need surgery to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow. He hasn’t gotten back to the effective major league reliever. In fact, he hasn’t even gotten back to being an effective pitcher. In 16 games, Goeddel is 2-3 with an 8.68 ERA and a 2.036 WHIP. He’s probably closer to being designated for assignment than getting called up.
It is more of the same with the rest of the 51s bullpen. Ben Rowen went from a consideration for the Opening Day roster to a 5.91 ERA. David Roseboom went from revelation last year in Double-A to an 8.31 ERA. Chasen Bradford has a 4.22 ERA and a 1.622 WHIP. Beck Wheeler has a 5.95 ERA and a 1.932 WHIP. About the only reliever with good stats is Logan Taylor, and he is walking the ballpark with a 4.1 BB/9.
Right now, as bad as things are in the majors, it is worse in Triple-A. At both levels, the Mets have talented pitchers who are going to have to make the necessary adjustments to start getting batters out. If they don’t, the Mets will be forced to look outside the organization for bullpen help. That is something no reliever in the Mets organization wants right now.
Currently, MLB and many of their full season affiliates are at the All Star Break. At each and every level, the Mets had a minor league pitcher named to their level’s All-Star Game. Listed below is a synopsis of the Mets’ organizations leaders at the break:
Class A Full Season – Columbia Fireflies
- Wins: P.J. Conlon (8)
- Saves: Alex Palsha (14)
- Strikeouts: Joe Shaw (88)
- ERA: P.J. Conlon (1.84 – League Leader)
- WHIP: P.J. Conlon (1.00)
- Games: Alex Palsha (28)
- Starts: Kevin Canelon, Chase Ingram (16)
- Innings: Kevin Canelon (97.2)
- Holds : Tyler Bashlor (4)
- All-Stars: P.J. Conlon, Alex Palsha
- Promotions: P.J. Conlon, Alex Palsha
Class A Advanced – St. Lucie Mets
- Wins: Ricky Knapp (8)
- Saves: Corey Taylor (13)
- Strikeouts: Chris Flexen, Corey Oswalt (63)
- ERA: Ricky Knapp (2.01)
- WHIP: Ricky Knapp (1.08)
- Games: Corey Taylor (28)
- Starts: Chris Flexen (17)
- Innings: Chris Flexen (95.1)
- Holds: Robert Coles (5)
- All-Stars: Alberto Baldonado (DNP – promoted)
- Promotions: Alberto Baldonado, Casey Delgado, Kevin McGowan, Tim Peterson
Double-A – Binghamton Mets
- Wins: Tyler Pill (6)
- Saves: Beck Wheeler (6)
- Strikeouts: Tyler Pill (88)
- ERA: Rainy Lara (3.98)
- WHIP: Tyler Pill (1.21)
- Games: Beck Wheeler (28)
- Starts: Tyler Pill (17)
- Innings: Tyler Pill (107.2)
- Holds: Tim Peterson (5)
- All Stars: Logan Taylor, Tyler Pill
- Promotions: Robert Gsellman, Beck Wheeler, Josh Zeid
Triple-A – Las Vegas 51s
- Wins: Sean Gilmartin, Gabriel Ynoa (9)
- Saves: Paul Sewald (9)
- Strikeouts: Sean Gilmartin (77)
- ERA: Gabriel Ynoa (4.19)
- WHIP: Sean Gilmartin (1.32)
- Games: Chasen Bradford, Josh Smoker (38)
- Starts: Gabriel Ynoa (18 – League Leader)
- Innings: Gabriel Ynoa (109.2)
- Holds: Josh Smoker (9)
- All-Stars: Gabriel Ynoa
- Promotions: Seth Lugo
- Wins: P.J. Conlon COL & STL (10)
- Saves: Alex Palsha COL (14)
- Strikeouts: Joe Shaw COL, Tyler Pill BNG (88)
- ERA: P.J. Conlon COL & STL (1.97)
- WHIP: P.J. Conlon COL & STL (1.03)
- Games: Chasen Bradford LV, Josh Smoker LV (38)
- Starts – Gabriel Ynoa LV (18)
- Innings – Gabriel Ynoa (109.2)
- Holds – Josh Smoker LV (9)
* stats are updated through July 13, 2016
Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsminors.net