August waiver trading is a tricky thing.
Unlike trading in July, you don’t have a pick of any player you want to pursue – instead you have to do these things:
- Patiently await new names to be placed on the waiver wire
- Decide whether a guy you might be interested in will be the only one you might have the chance for
- Send the commissioner $20,000 for every player you do wish to go after
- Wait to see if this expensive lottery ticket pays off
- You could wait and see if a guy clears waivers – releasing him to be dealt to anyone – but that, too is a risk
- Even if it does, then you still have to make a deal with the team holding that player
That last point is certainly important: the Blue Jays apparently dangled Mark DeRosa, but snatched him back – which cost at least one team 20 grand for nothing. But it happens… a lot.
So that is the lead-in to this question: if the Braves want to get another bench bat, then who can/should they pursue?
Let’s examine the needs:
- Spell the infielders – particularly Chris Johnson, Dan Uggla, and Freddie Freeman
- Provide some ‘pop’ off the bench, particularly vs. RH pitching
- ‘Veteran Presents’ (sic) would be nice, also
- Likely to be truly available in August
Like it or not, I think there is exactly one name that fits the bill.
I’ll go ahead and say this right now: TomahawkTake does not owe you a new keyboard for the reaction you just had to that last line. That’s on you.
Here’s the case for Young:
- Batting .276, OPS’ing .747, 8 homers
- Batting .290 vs. RH pitching – as a RH batter
- .321 in “high leverage” situations… whatever that really means.
- Can play all infield positions… not great, but can do it.
What? What do you mean ‘cheap’? The Rangers already gave the Phils $10 million to take him. That leaves $6 million on his contract, and that means roughly $2 million remaining for the year.
The reasons the Braves could/should get him on waivers:
No team ahead of them in the waiver-claim pecking order has the need that he can supply (possible exception: Dodgers, depending on Hanley Ramirez‘ situation). The Braves are ahead of Pittsburgh on that list… barely.
- UPDATE/CORRECTION: it’s actually even easier: Young has already cleared waivers, according to this report. So there’s nothing standing in the way of a routine phone call.
- At this point, the Phillies shouldn’t care if Atlanta gets him (or anybody else, for that matter)… it saves them $2m and they’re likely to lose him at year’s end anyway. It might take a minor leaguer in the range of #11-20 on the prospect list, but nothing more.
- I literally don’t see any other options. DeRosa was pulled back by Toronto. Others of some value (Alex Rios, for example) either aren’t infielders, are crazy expensive, or will be picked up by other teams ahead of Atlanta. Marco Scutaro is under contract through 2015.
- His no-trade clause. Young himself has mentioned Boston and New York as possible destinations. Not Atlanta… or anywhere else, for that matter. But if Atlanta wants him, they would have ‘dibs’ over those clubs since the Phillies are in the National League. Hey, we’ve got a Waffle House now.
If you have another candidate… make the case: but it’s a whole ‘nother matter getting from “wanting” a player and “being able to get him.” The Braves may certainly choose to pass on deals this August… but they may also risk a very tired infield come October.
Yeah, these comments oughta be interesting!