7:07pm: Buster Olney has some more color to this "he claimed, she claimed" story.
Olney writes in ESPN the Magazine, "The rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox burns strongly even when it comes to waiver claims.
"When the Mets and Red Sox worked out a trade for left-hander Billy Wagner earlier this week, Chris Carter, an outfielder-first baseman currently playing for Class AAA Pawtucket, became part of the deal as a player to be named headed to Boston. In preparation for the deal, the Red Sox placed Carter on waivers, with the intention of moving him on to the Mets.
"But the Yankees placed a claim on Carter — perhaps to create some 40-man roster discomfort for the Red Sox. In order to complete the Mets trade, the Red Sox are now pulling Carter back from waivers — and for the rest of the year, they must carry him on their 40-man roster.
"And Boston may struggle to squeeze bodies onto its 40-man roster in September. When Paul Byrd was a free agent, he informed teams that as a condition for signing him, he wanted a guarantee that he would be added to the 40-man roster for the final month. If Boston has made that same concession, the Carter claim by the Yankees might have made that just a little more difficult."
5:50pm: In what should come as a surprise to no one, Amalie Benjamin clarifies that the Red Sox have pulled Carter back, and will deal him in the offseason.
5:30pm: Because it wouldn't be a normal day without some bad news for the Mets, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports on her Twitter account that Chris Carter, the more significant of the two players rumored to be headed to the Mets in exchange for Billy Wagner, has been claimed by the New York Yankees.
It isn't clear that this hurts the Red Sox any, since the trade is not dependent on Carter passing through waivers. Instead, the claim prevents the Mets from getting a first-hand look at Carter until after the season. Presumably, the Red Sox will pull him back, though they also have the option of working out a deal with the Yankees (not likely) or letting the Yankees have him for nothing (see previous parenthetical statement). So much for city unity.
Worth noting: the Yankees have the best record in the American League, meaning that 1) no one else in the AL claimed Carter, 2) if they hadn't claimed Carter, the Red Sox could have traded him to the Mets without any problem had the National League followed suit, and 3) the Yankees, apparently, weren't willing to show pity upon their injury-shattered New York brethren.