The July Trade Deadline is always made out to be such an important time when teams make moves to help them in the playoff race, and it is. However, as seen this year with the massive Dodgers, Red Sox deal, players still get traded through August. This is known as the waiver trading period, as most people know. However, a lot of people don’t fully understand how it works, and that most players are placed on waivers (even King Felix) for various reasons. I didn’t either for a long time, and it’s not an easy thing to explain or understand.
Basically, before a player can be traded in August, he must clear waivers. What that means is that every team has the chance to “claim” him. If the player is claimed, the two teams have 48 hours to work out a trade, or the players original team can either pull him back, or let him go to the claiming team, who now has the rights to that player, and their contract. If a player clears waivers, he can then be traded freely to any team.
Most people assume that if a player is placed on waivers, that team is looking to trade that player. In actuality, almost all players are placed on waivers, if only to gauge interest in said player for a future trade or a contract extension. As we have seen, big time players like Cliff Lee, Joe Mauer, and even our own Felix Hernandez, are placed on waivers, even though there was no intention of trading them.
You usually don’t hear about it unless there is a story behind why they were placed on waivers, and it is leaked by sources to people like Morosi. That is why we rarely hear about it, and assume that only the players we want to trade are placed.
That will be the case with Felix. He will not be traded, and he was only placed to gauge interest, possibly to see how much he is worth in a future extension, and to be eligible for a trade at all, if the situation arose. There is no reason to believe any deal will even be talked about, and we may never even find out who he was claimed by. I am sure he has been placed in the past,the news just didn’t escape he organization.
I’m confident that Felix will be a Mariner for the rest of his contract, and most likely for the duration of his career.