Mulling Changes To Waiver System and September Call Ups

An article by posted on August 18, 2010

Buster Olney of ESPN, writes about some of the changes general managers are mulling over for the future.

Regarding the current Waiver System:

Up until 4 p.m. on July 31, all teams can engage other clubs in trade talks. But from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31 — the deadline by which all players must be in place with an organization to be eligible for the postseason roster — all players must pass through waivers, and in that time teams can place claims on the players; sometimes with sincere interest, sometimes only to block another club from making a trade.

“What’s the point?” a general manager asked the other day. “It’s completely antiquated. Why not just open it up and keep it simple? Why put everyone through that? Just come up with a trade deadline date [for postseason eligibility] and end the whole waiver thing. Maybe the date is July 31, maybe it’s Aug. 15, maybe it’s Aug. 31. But until that preset date, let everyone trade with everybody else.”

Regarding September Call Ups:

There is growing momentum toward some kind of adjustment with the structure of September rosters.  As it stands, teams are able to call up as many players from their 40-man rosters as they want – and so, in the final month of the year, there will be games in which a team with 33 players will be competing against a team with 28 players… The change that is probably forthcoming is uniformity in the number of players eligible for both teams for each game.  In other words, if the Red Sox are playing against the Kansas City Royals in September, both teams would have to declare which 25 players – or 26, or 27, or whatever number is settled upon – are eligible to play in that particular game.

Nothing is set in stone of course, but these are definitely topics worthy of discussing.

I never really understood the logic in the waiver system after from Aug. 1st to Aug. 31st. I thought it was ridiculous when the yankees blocked the Red Sox from sending the Mets Chris Carter last August, forcing the team to wait until after the season to get him. The current system makes it all too easy for teams like the Yankees to use the system as a strategy to impeded other teams from trading.

The September call up rule change makes sense as well.

Under the current system, GM’s can only make recommendations to the owners who can then bring the matter to a vote and make yet another recommendation to the commissioner.

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