Minnesota Twins guide to the waiver trade period

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 22: Rain is seen on the seats at Target Field as the start of the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox is delayed on June 22, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 22: Rain is seen on the seats at Target Field as the start of the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox is delayed on June 22, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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While hyped plenty, yesterday’s non-waiver trade deadline is not the last day that players can be traded on the season. How could the Minnesota Twins still make a deal, and who would possibly qualify?

When the Minnesota Twins closed out the non-waiver deadline on July 31st with a trade of Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals, many fans thought that meant that the Twins were done moving players.

However, we’ve simply entered a month of what is known as the “waiver trade period” that ends on August 31st. So what is different about this time, and what could it mean for the Minnesota Twins?

The Rules

A player can still be traded during the waiver trading period, but he first must be placed on waivers. That opens the player up to the typical waiver rules, where any team can submit a claim, but order of preference goes from worst record to best starting with the same league as the team that placed the player on waivers (for instance, the AL first if the Twins put a player on waivers), and then continuing to the other league. Any player claiming the player would assume all of his contract remaining if they claim him through waivers.

If a player is claimed, the team who put him on waivers can do one of three things:

  • 1. Pull the player back from waivers and keep him
  • 2. Negotiate a trade with the team who won the claim
  • 3. Allow the team that won the claim to have the player outright

If the player is not claimed in two days, he then is considered to have passed through waivers, and his team can then trade him to any other team in baseball the rest of the season (unless he has some other provision that prevents trading, such as a no-trade clause or 10/5 rights).

One other thing to note is that a team can only pull their player back once, so if a team is trying to get a player all the way through unclaimed and he is claimed, the team can choose to pull him back, but if they re-submit the player to waivers after that and he is claimed again, he goes immediately to the team that claims him without a trade option.

Clear as mud?!

How The Twins Can Benefit

The Minnesota Twins still have some desirable trade assets on the team if they were to choose to move them in Brian Dozier and Ervin Santana. Most likely someone like Joe Mauer will be passed through waivers, as his contract would go unclaimed. Matt Belisle is another player who could be a prime waiver period trade target if he continues to pitch well.

More from Puckett's Pond

Another thing the Twins could do is to focus their efforts on looking for guys who are being “snuck” through by other teams that they could claim. A number of players that the writers here at Puckett’s Pond featured as possible trade options did not get traded yesterday, like Cole Hamels, Julio Teheran, Brad Brach, Keone Kela, and Hector Neris. The latter two may be claimed quickly due to their low contract if they were placed on waivers, so they might be out of consideration, but guys like Brach, Teheran, and Hamels very well could hit the waiver market this month.

Some other starters and relievers with 2018 control that could hit the waiver market include J.A. Happ, Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann, Shane Greene, Santiago Casilla, Liam Hendriks, AJ Ramos, Jim Johnson, Arodys Vizcaino, Mike Leake, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal, Brett Cecil, Daniel Hudson, Homer Bailey, Brad Hand, Travis Wood, Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto, Mark Melancon, and many others along the way that we can’t even predict right now.

Next: Twins Search For New Closer

One of the biggest August trades in recent memory happened in 2012, when the Boston Red Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto in exchange for James Loney and three prospects from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a move to shed salary, so some big names can definitely change hands this month if you’re watching!

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