Athletics DH Mike Piazza has about $2.83MM left on his contract this year. Some teams poked around before the deadline – the Twins, maybe the Angels – but there wasn’t much action on him and he didn’t go anywhere. The question now is whether the A’s will put him on waivers to try to trade him this month. There’s no harm in just putting him on waivers, for starters. The Braves placed Andruw Jones on waivers last year.
Now if the A’s do place Piazza on waivers, teams with the worst records in the AL get priority. So basically the Twins get first dibs if they want him, followed by Seattle. I have a hard time seeing the Angels get the claim, because that would mean the Mariners, Yankees, and Indians passed. I imagine at least one of those clubs would put in a claim and get him if the Twins passed.
Now once a team is awarded the claim, Billy Beane has three options. One, he can work out a trade with the winning team, where all players involved on the 40-man roster must also go through waivers. Two, he can just dump Piazza’s salary on that team. Three, he can pull Piazza back and not trade him. Offering Piazza arbitration this winter is kind of risky, because he might just accept it and the A’s would be stuck with him. He’s not looking at a two-year deal this winter anyway. So a trade to a team that could actually use him – the Twins – makes all kinds of sense. I don’t understand why competing teams would allow him to get all the way to the Angels though. Their chance has passed.