Placed On Revocable Waivers Rumors

White Sox Pull David Robertson Off Waivers

1:10pm: Heyman tweets that the White Sox have pulled Robertson back off waivers.

11:50am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from a source that part of the Yankees’ motivation in making the claim was indeed to prevent the Blue Jays from having an opportunity to acquire Robertson (Twitter link).

8:32am: The Yankees have claimed closer David Robertson from the White Sox on revocable waivers, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, but a trade between the two sides is seen as unlikely. To this point, according to Heyman, there’s little indication of a deal in the works, and as of late Saturday night there hadn’t even been legitimate discussions between Chicago and New York. It seems probable that the White Sox will elect to pull their closer back off waivers.

Robertson, 30, has spent his entire career with the Yankees aside from this season. He departed as a free agent following the 2014 campaign, electing to sign a sizable four-year, $46MM contract with the Sox. (The Yankees, meanwhile, made their own significant commitment to lefty Andrew Miller: four years, $36MM.)

It’s still far too early to judge that hefty investment from the White Sox, but the early returns have been outstanding. Robertson has a 2.60 ERA with 12.2 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 (a career-best rate) a 38.3 percent ground-ball rate and 27 saves in 52 innings with the Sox. That ERA would likely be even better were it not for the fact that White Sox rate as one of the worst defensive clubs in all of baseball. SIERA, FIP and xFIP, for instance, all peg Robertson between 1.89 and 2.17 — significantly better than his still-impressive 2.60 ERA.

Robertson is earning $10MM in 2015 and has about $1.97MM remaining on his current salary, plus an additional $36MM through the 2018 season. The Yankees will have until 2:00 ET to work out a trade, per Heyman, indicating that the actual claim of Robertson was made on Saturday afternoon. It’s possible, though, that the Yankees made the claim not so much expecting a deal but more to prevent the division-leading Blue Jays from having an opportunity to add to their bullpen.

Even if that were the case, it wouldn’t mean the Yankees aren’t interested in a reunion. They pursued bullpen help in late July, and Robertson would mark at least the third elite reliever that the Yankees have attempted to acquire to pair with their already dominant late-inning duo of Miller and Dellin Betances. GM Brian Cashman reportedly showed strong interest in both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman prior to the non-waiver trade deadline last month.

Though his specific trade probably won’t come to fruition, it’s likely that we’ll see a few swaps made prior to midnight. Players acquired on Sept. 1 or later are ineligible for their new team’s postseason roster, meaning that any last-minute trades that contenders wish to make in order to upgrade their potential playoff rosters will need to be completed in the next 14.5 hours.


Padres Pull Kimbrel Back From Waivers

SATURDAY: The Padres have pulled Kimbrel back from revocable waivers, Rosenthal reports (Twitter links). That means that, as expected, Kimbrel will not be traded. The Mets are known to be trying to acquire a reliever they claimed on revocable waivers, but it’s not Kimbrel. Rosenthal writes that six teams claimed Kimbrel, but the Mets were not one of the six.

FRIDAY: Padres closer Craig Kimbrel has been claimed on revocable waivers by an unknown club, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). However, a club official tells Rosenthal that the Padres have no intention of trading Kimbrel.

Kimbrel is earning $9MM in 2015 as part of a four-year, $42MM contract extension signed with the Braves, and he’s owed about $1.87MM of that sum through season’s end. He’s owed $25MM on top of that sum through the 2017 season, including a $1MM buyout on a $13MM club option for the 2018 season.

After a rocky start to the season in which Kimbrel posted a 5.93 ERA through his first 15 appearances, Kimbrel has been characteristically outstanding. Since May 16, Kimbrel has a 1.73 ERA with a 49-to-13 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings and collecting 26 saves in 27 opportunities.

Acquired in a stunning blockbuster trade on the eve of Opening Day, Kimbrel came to the Padres alongside Melvin Upton Jr. in exchange for outfield prospect Jordan Paroubeck, right-hander Matt Wisler, a Competitive Balance (Round A) Draft Pick and the contracts of Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin (the latter of whom was immediately designated for assignment and released). Kimbrel drew significant interest prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but GM A.J. Preller elected to hold onto the four-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year.


Francisco Rodriguez, Darren O’Day On Revocable Waivers

There are just four days remaining for teams to make trades that will allow an acquired player to be eligible for his new team’s postseason roster. If the past two seasons are any indication (MLBTR Transaction Tracker links), we’ll see a handful of trades between now and Monday, as players acquired next Tuesday (Sept. 1) or later won’t be postseason eligible. Here’s a reminder on how the August trade process works, and here’s Friday’s list of players that have reportedly been placed on revocable waivers…

  • Peter Gammons reports that Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez and Orioles right-hander Darren O’Day are both on revocable waivers at the moment (Twitter link). It seems as though the pair was placed on waivers Wednesday afternoon, as Gammons notes that waivers on each expire today.
  • Rodriguez, 33, is the likelier of the two to clear, as he’s owed about $10.23MM through the end of the 2016 season (though $2MM of his $7.5MM salary in 2016 is deferred, as is the $2MM buyout on his 2017 option, per Cot’s Contracts). If Rodriguez does clear, it’ll almost certainly be due to his salary, because his performance in 2015 has been outstanding. In 43 2/3 innings, K-Rod has a 2.06 ERA with 10.5 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 45.6 percent ground-ball rate to go along with 30 saves. A fluky homer-to-flyball ratio bloated his home run rate in 2014 and dragged down his peripheral stats, but that number regressed toward Rodriguez’s career norm in 2015, leading to very strong numbers in spite of diminished velocity (89.6 mph average fastball).
  • The 32-year-old O’Day seems like a surefire bet to be claimed, as he’s earning just $4.25MM in 2015 (with $882K remaining on the deal) and is in the midst of a career year. O’Day has been dominant in each of his four years with the O’s, but his current 1.63 ERA and 11.4 K/9 rate both represent career bests. The side-arming setup man is averaging just 2.2 walks per nine innings, and he’s held right-handed hitters to a feeble .195/.233/.244 batting line. It should be noted that lefties have had more success, posting a .237/.333/.407 line against O’Day.

MLBTR has kept track of all players to reportedly clear revocable waivers (list here), though there are, of course, numerous players who clear waivers and go unreported in doing so.



Austin Jackson Clears Waivers, Generating Interest

Mariners outfielder Austin Jackson has cleared revocable trade waivers, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. The free-agent-to-be has been discussed recently in trade talks, per the report.

Jackson, 28, has had something of an up-and-down season but has generally disappointed since coming to Seattle last summer in the three-team David Price deal. (The Mariners shipped Nick Franklin to the Rays to add Jackson from the Tigers.) All told, he’s slashed .259/.302/.365 on the year while adding seven home runs. Though Jackson has swiped 15 bags, he’s been caught on nine attempts.

With free agency looming, Jackson’s value is well down off its peak. Between 2010 and 2013, he compiled a cumulative .278/.344/.416 batting line while often tallying double-digit home runs and steals. With good defensive ratings in center field, he racked up an average of 4.7 rWAR in that span.

With that solid base of stats to work from, Jackson cost the M’s $7.7MM this year via arbitration. About $1.725MM of that still remains to be paid, but apparently no teams were interested in paying the full amount.

The right-handed hitter continues to put up roughly equivalent numbers against right-handed and left-handed pitching, so he’s not a clear platoon player, though he could certainly make sense for a contender as a fourth outfielder. Jackson is one of several outfielders who have now been reported to have cleared trade waivers. Click here for the full list of reportedly clearing players.


Unknown Team Claims Neal Cotts On Revocable Waivers

Brewers left-hander Neal Cotts has been claimed on revocable waivers by an unknown team, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Rosenthal notes that it seems unlikely Cotts made it through the National League.

Cotts, 35, is in the midst of a solid season with the Brewers, having pitched to a 3.28 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 42.2 percent ground-ball rate in 49 1/3 innings. FIP paints a more pessimistic picture, although that mark is skewed by a fluky 17 percent homer-to-flyball ratio that is well out of line with Cotts’ career norms. Cotts has been highly effective against left-handed hitters in particular, limiting same-handed opponents to a .185/.230/.346 batting line and striking out 27 percent of them (24 of 89).

Somewhat coincidentally, Cotts was claimed on trade waivers nearly one year ago to the date — Aug. 20, 2014 — also by an unknown club. Ultimately, a trade did not occur, and Cotts hit the open market after his season with the Rangers ended. He would eventually land with Milwaukee on a one-year, $3MM contract, and he’s still owed about $754K of that sum. The Brewers will have 48.5 hours to work out a trade with Cotts, and if no deal is struck in that time, they can pull him back off waivers.

For a refresher on how the August trade process works, check out MLBTR’s August Trade primer.


Dexter Fowler Clears Revocable Waivers

Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler recently passed through revocable trade waivers unclaimed, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). Nightengale also notes that the Cubs have yet to put struggling shortstop-turned-second-baseman Starlin Castro through waivers.

Fowler, 29, is in his first season with the Cubs after coming over from Houston in an offseason trade that sent Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily to the Astros. That Fowler would clear waivers is at least somewhat of a surprise. He’s hitting .245/.341/.402 with a dozen homers and 17 steals, and a number of teams looking for outfield help could benefit from the addition of the switch-hitter. Of course, some clubs may simply have neglected to place a claim, expecting that the contending Cubs wouldn’t be overly anxious to trade a player that has appeared in 113 games for the team and been worth about two wins this season.

The Cubs can now freely explore trades for Fowler, who is earning $9.5MM in 2015 and owed about $2.49MM of that sum through season’s end. Moving Fowler, however, could create a notable hole in the Cubs’ lineup, as Arismendy Alcantara is struggling in the minors this season, and Matt Szczur hasn’t hit to this point in the Majors. Chris Coghlan could theoretically shift to center field, but he hasn’t played there since 2013 and is not a good defender at the position. Then again, Fowler himself has traditionally graded out as a poor center fielder. He’s drawn average marks in Ultimate Zone Rating in 2015, at least, but some may still consider him to be a better fit for a corner spot.

Fowler joins a growing list of players that have cleared waivers, but he strikes me as a less likely trade candidate than the majority of other names to have cleared. Teams routinely place a significant portion of their roster on waivers — if not everyone on their roster — so news that Fowler has been place upon and cleared waivers doesn’t indicate that Chicago will actively seek to trade him.


Ian Kennedy, Joaquin Benoit Claimed On Waivers, Pulled Back By Padres

The Padres traded Will Venable to the Rangers tonight, but they almost certainly won’t be dealing another pair of potential free agents; Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that right-handers Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit were both claimed on revocable waivers, but trades couldn’t be reached, so the Padres pulled the pair back.

Kennedy, 30, is a free agent at the end of the season and is owed about $2.58MM of his $9.85MM salary through season’s end. The former Yankees/D-Backs hurler has struggled for much of the season, but he’s been a more appealing trade target of late, working to a 2.82 ERA with a 76-to-23 K/BB ratio in 83 innings dating back to June 1. Kennedy’s been very homer-prone this season (1.9 HR/9), but much of that can be attributed to an abnormally high 18.7 percent homer-to-flyball ratio that is well above his career mark of 10.6 percent.

The 38-year-old Benoit has been one of the better late-inning relief arms in the game over the past few seasons, though there are some possible red flags in his game this year. Though Benoit’s pitched to a stellar 2.13 ERA, his strikeout rate (8.2 K/9) and walk rate (3.0 BB/9) have both gone the wrong direction in 2015, and he’s benefited from a likely unsustainable .163 average on balls in play. Nevertheless, his track record and strong bottom-line results led to a claim despite a relatively substantial salary; Benoit is owed $2.1MM of his $8MM salary through season’s end, to say nothing of a $1MM buyout on an $8MM option for the 2016 season (though some teams were probably interested in exercising that option).

While the waiver claims and retractions technically don’t prevent the pair from being traded, it becomes extremely unlikely that either will be moved now. The Padres can put both players on trade waivers for a second time, but the waivers would no longer be revocable at that point. More likely is the possibility that the Padres are impressed enough with Kennedy’s resurgence that they’re eyeing a draft pick as compensation in the event that he signs elsewhere. Heyman notes that rivals don’t view Kennedy as a surefire qualifying offer candidate, but his recent surge should make it worthwhile for the Padres to extend the roughly $16MM one-year offer. I’d expect that Kennedy, a client of Scott Boras, would decline the offer and test the free agent waters.


Reed, Rodney, Axford, Mujica, Aardsma Clear Waivers

Right-handers Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, John Axford, Edward Mujica and David Aardsma have all cleared revocable trade waivers, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post, making them eligible to be dealt to any club.

Of the listed group, only the veteran Aardsma has even posted a sub-4.00 ERA this season, as the 33-year-old has a 3.95 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 27 1/3 innings with the Braves. He’s generating grounders at just a 29.9 percent clip though and has had some home run issues to go along with his questionable control. Aardsma inked a minor league deal with the Braves, so his salary for the remainder of the season is light in comparison to the peers with whom he’s listed.

Reed, 26, was an up-and-coming closer not long ago was viewed in a strong enough light for the D-Backs to surrender one of their top prospects (Matt Davidson) for him in the 2013-14 offseason. His first season with the Diamondbacks resulted in a 4.25 ERA, however, and he’s up to 4.46 this season. Reed lost his job to Brad Ziegler earlier in the year and has been demoted to Triple-A this season.

Since returning, Reed has yielded just one run on nine hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in 10 innings, so things do look considerably brighter of late. However, Reed is also earning $4.875MM this season, and he’s still owed about $1.33MM of that sum through season’s end. He’s controllable through the 2017 season but is a definite non-tender candidate following the season, as he’ll top $5MM via arbitration despite his 2015 struggles.

The 38-year-old Rodney is perhaps the least surprising name on Sherman’s list. In 50 innings this season, he’s posted a 5.05 ERA with diminished strikeout (7.6 K/9) and walk (4.1 BB/9) rates to go along with a career-worst 1.44 HR/9 rate. Rodney’s fastball is averaging 94.9 mph, so he still has plenty of heat, but the results haven’t been there in 2015, and he’s owed $1.91MM of his $7MM salary through season’s end.

Axford, 32, has seen his share of struggles as well in his first year with the Rockies. Axford began the year in dominant fashion, yielding just one run in 19 innings and usurping LaTroy Hawkins as the Colorado closer. However, in the 19 2/3 innings that have followed that initial stretch, he’s been tagged for 19 runs on a dismal 29 hits and 15 walks. Teams in search of relief help may have some degree of hope that Coors Field has contributed to his poor results of late; Axford does have a 5.32 ERA in Denver versus a 3.78 ERA on the road. But, walks are walks in any park, and Axford has issued 10 free passes in 16 2/3 innings on the road.

Mujica has already been designated for assignment once this season (by the Red Sox), and his numbers have only worsened following a trade to the Athletics. The 31-year-old is still showing excellent control (1.3 BB/9 rate), but he’s averaging just six strikeouts per nine innings and has been entirely too hittable. Opponents are batting .309/.336/.525 against Mujica in 2015, and the result has been an unsightly 5.25 ERA. Even if he weren’t owed $1.3MM through the end of the season, he’d be a tough sell as a bullpen upgrade for a team seeking relief help.

Each of these relievers has been added to MLBTR’s list of players that have cleared revocable waivers, which can be always be found under the MLBTR Features on the right-hand sidebar for desktop users.


Jose Reyes Clears Waivers

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes has cleared waivers, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, making him eligible to be traded to any team. Heyman hears that “at least a couple of teams” have been “poking around” regarding Reyes, but the Rockies aren’t necessarily shopping him around.

There’s been at least some contact with the Yankees about a possible Reyes matchup, Heyman reports, though it’s not known how serious their interest is. Didi Gregorius has been outstanding for much of the summer, hitting .290/.329/.383 dating back to June 1 to go along with his strong defensive work. Reyes could be viewed as a second base option by the Yankees, who have received little from their primary option at the position, Stephen Drew.

Reyes, 32, was hitting reasonably well at the time of the stunner that sent him and three pitching prospects from Toronto to Denver in exchange for Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins, but he’s struggled greatly in his new environs. Reyes is hitting just .216/.241/.275 with the Rox — a sharp decline from the .285/.322/.385 he was slashing with the Blue Jays. From a defensive standpoint, Reyes has declined over the past two seasons, so it’s possible that some clubs would think of him more as a second base option than a shortstop anyhow. (Although, getting off the turf in Toronto could revitalize his legs and back to some extent.)

Given the substantial financial commitment still remaining on Reyes contract, it’s unsurprising to see him go unclaimed. He’s still owed about $6.37MM of this year’s $22MM salary, and he’ll earn $22MM in both 2016 and 2017, plus a $4MM buyout of a $22MM option for the 2018 season. All told, that’s about $54.37MM owed to Reyes through the 2017 season.

For what it’s worth, Heyman hears that while Reyes spoke highly of the Mets this weekend and seems to be amenable to a return to New York City, the Mets did not show any interest in reacquiring him following his move to Colorado.

Reyes becomes the third known player to have cleared revocable waivers. We’ll be keeping an update-to-date list of players that have cleared waivers, and you can always find a link to that list on the MLBTR Features sidebar on the right-hand side of the desktop version of MLBTR. (Mobile users may want to bookmark the post for easy reference.)


Placed On Revocable Waivers: 8/11/15

Here are today’s notes on players placed on revocable waivers:

  • The Dodgers recently placed outfielder Yasiel Puig on waivers, but pulled him back after he was claimed by an unreported team, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports on Twitter. It’s obviously no surprise that Puig was claimed, even though he has not been produced as expected this year, or that the claiming team was unable to work out a deal with Los Angeles. The news does mean that Puig can no longer be traded this season, as any attempt to do so would require the Dodgers to expose him again to waivers without the right to claw back his rights.

Most players around the league are placed on revocable players during the month of August, though relatively few are reported. For more on the process, check out MLBTR’s August trade primer.