How MLB Trades Work in August


August 1st was the MLB Trade Deadline, or was it? The answer is yes, however it was the non-waiver trade deadline. Teams can still make trades in August. The process is just a bit different. You might be wondering now how it’s different. Well, I’m here to provide a breakdown of how this all works. I’ll use August trade candidate Danny Valencia of the Oakland A’s to illustrate a few points.

So let’s say that the A’s want to move Valencia for whatever it may be. They will have to put him on revocable waivers. Once he’s put on revocable waivers, he’ll be there for 47 hours. What happens after that all depends on if he clears or not. Let’s explore both options.

If He Clears:

If Valencia clears, it’s quite simple. The Athletics can now trade him without any restrictions. For example, if the Minnesota Twins are interested in him, but do not want to deal for him with any restrictions, they could let him pass and approach the A’s after he clears .

If He’s Claimed:

Now, if the Twins decided to claim him, one of three things can happen. The A’s could let him go to the Twins, in which the Twins would be on the hook for the rest of Valencia’s contract. Oakland could work out a trade with Minnesota, in which they’d have 10 to do so. The A’s could also just revoke the waiver request and Valencia goes nowhere.

If more than one team claims Valencia, priority is determined by who has the worst record . So if the Twins are the worst in the AL and claim an AL player, they’d get first priority.

A lot of trades that end up having big impacts on teams have occurred in August. Like when the Detroit Tigers dealt a minor leaguer named John Smoltz to the Atlanta Braves in 1987. Smoltz played for 20 years in the Bigs, helping the Braves win the 1995 World Series. The player Detroit got in return, Doyle Alexander, pitched OK with the team, but only lasted two years.

Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

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