Are Phillies done dealing? Here's how August trades work

Are Phillies done dealing? Here's how August trades work

The trade deadline has passed, but that doesn't necessarily mean the trading stops.

July 31 is the non-waiver trade deadline. The key words there are "non-waiver." Trades can still be made in August, the process just gets a bit more complicated.

The Phillies got a lot of their work done this week, bringing in Wilson Ramos, Asdrubal Cabrera and lefty reliever Aaron Loup. There were only four players traded in July who have an OPS over .800 on the season and two of them (Ramos and Cabrera) are now Phillies. Manny Machado and Eduardo Escobar were the others.

Anywho …

Here's how August trades work

In order to trade a player, a team must first put that player on waivers. These waivers are revocable, meaning that if the player is claimed by another team, he can simply be pulled back and kept by the original team.

Who goes on waivers?

Nearly every player on every team. There is little risk in floating a player out on revocable waivers. The reward is the ability to strike a deal and trade the player in August.

How do waivers work?

Let's use Tommy Hunter as an example to make this clearer.

Say the Phillies place Hunter on waivers, which they'll probably do in early August because of the off chance another team would take the pricey contract. Any team will possess the ability to claim Hunter. If multiple teams claim him, the team with the worst record in the player's league gets first dibs. So the worst National League team would have the first crack at Hunter, followed by the second-worst NL team, then the third-worst NL team, and on and on.

So NL teams have top priority on NL players placed on waivers and vice versa?

Yes. If no team in the player's league claims him, the team with the worst record in the other league moves to the top of the order.

In other words, the worst team in the AL would be 15th on the queue for an NL player — Hunter would first have to go unclaimed by all 14 of the Phillies' NL counterparts before an AL team could be awarded the claim.

The order inverts the standings, so for the Phillies, this means they'll be toward the bottom of the league in the claiming order for AL players. As of today, the Phils would be 27th in order for an AL player and 12th for an NL player.

What happens if a player goes unclaimed?

Hunter is an applicable example here because it's highly unlikely he'd be claimed. Why? Because if he is, the Phillies could simply say to the claiming team, "OK, take him and pay his remaining salary." 

If a player goes unclaimed for 47 hours after being placed on waivers, the player has cleared waivers and can be traded to any team just like it was July 25.

OK, so what happens if a player is claimed? What are the original team's options?

If Hunter were to be claimed, the Phillies would have three options:

• Pull him off waivers and keep him.

• Work out a trade with the team that claimed him within 48 hours.

• Allow the claiming team to simply absorb his remaining contract.

Here's the catch: A team cannot pull a player off waivers and try to pass him through again. If a player gets claimed and pulled back by his original team, the waivers become irrevocable for that player from that point.

So, for example, if the Phillies place Nick Williams on waivers, he'd be claimed immediately. Who wouldn't want a young, productive player for a cheap cost? The Phils would simply pull him back. But they would not be able to place him on waivers again at any point that season and possess the ability to keep him if he's claimed. If he were to be claimed a second time, the claiming team gets him and the Phillies have no recourse.

Obviously, they wouldn't allow that to happen.

How do we know if a player is placed on waivers?

You don't. The placement of players on waivers is not disclosed, though sometimes reporters catch wind and release the information. An official announcement is not required or revealed until a transaction goes down.

What are some examples of August trading?

When the Phillies acquired Matt Stairs and Scott Eyre in 2008, they did it in August. 

When they got Jamie Moyer in 2006, it was in August.

When they traded Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers for Victor Arano and Jesmuel Valentin, it was in August.

When the Tigers traded Justin Verlander to the Astros last summer, it was in August … and it turned out to be the biggest move any team made all year.

A notable example of a player just being absorbed by another team involved Alex Rios and the White Sox back in 2009. The Blue Jays had signed Rios to a seven-year, $70 million contract. A year later, they wanted out of it. The White Sox claimed Rios and the Blue Jays just gave him to the White Sox for nothing in return except full salary relief.

That kind of absorption worked out for both teams — it saved the Blue Jays $10 million a year, and the White Sox acquired a solid player without giving up any young talent.

There have been more recent examples since but that one comes to mind.

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Marlins 3, Phillies 1 (10 innings): This one is on the offense

Marlins 3, Phillies 1 (10 innings): This one is on the offense


This one is on the offense. The Phillies were held to just four hits in suffering a 3-1 loss in 10 innings to the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.

Starlin Castro broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run home run against Hector Neris in the top of the 10th to propel the Marlins to victory.

The Phillies’ Nos. 2 through 5 hitters went 0 for 15 with a walk.

With a chance to take control of the game, the Phils went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings.

The Phillies are now 13-12. They have lost six of their last eight.

Miami is 8-17.

The Phils are 2-2 against Miami.

The keys

• Nick Williams, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and stayed in to play left field, made what at the time was a game-saving throw to cut down a run at the plate and end the top of the ninth inning. Williams' perfect throw came in at 95.5 mph.

• Williams’ throw bailed out Hector Neris. Neris gave up a two-out double and a two-out homer in the 10th as the Marlins took the lead.

• Adam Morgan relieved Aaron Nola with two outs and runners on the corners in a tie game in the seventh. He retired pinch-hitter Isaac Galloway for one of the game’s biggest outs. Morgan has not given up a run in 10 1/3 innings (13 games) this season.

Starting pitching rules

Nola, who showed signs of putting it together in his previous start at Colorado, was very good in this one. He allowed just a run over 6 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits, all singles, walked one and struck out four.

Miami lefty Caleb Smith was also very good, holding the Phillies to three hits and a run over six innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

Smith allowed a second-inning homer to Sean Rodriguez for the Phillies' lone run.

Sights and sounds

Though J.T. Realmuto did not get a hit in the first inning, he provided some entertainment for the crowd as he battled Miami lefty Smith through a fairly incredible 16-pitch at-bat. Realmuto fouled off 10 straight pitches before ultimately striking out, but the crowd appreciated the duel. The cheers became louder with each ball Realmuto fouled off and he received a loud ovation while walking back to the dugout at Smith prevailed.

Health check

Another injury for Roman Quinn. What it means for the Phillies’ outfield picture (see story).

Up next

Jerad Eickhoff makes his first home start of the season Friday night against Marlins’ right-hander Jose Urena.

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How will Phillies handle center field with oft-injured Roman Quinn down again?

How will Phillies handle center field with oft-injured Roman Quinn down again?

The Phillies are going through centerfielders as fast as they’re going through shortstops.

Roman Quinn, who went down with a strained right groin muscle in Wednesday night’s game in New York, was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday. He was replaced on the roster by outfielder Dylan Cozens.

Quinn is going to be out a lot longer than 10 days. An MRI performed on Thursday afternoon revealed a Grade 2 strain, which is worse than a Grade 1 or mild strain. Quinn is a player who relies on the speed that his legs generate. The Phillies will be very cautious in bringing him back.

“I don’t know what the timetable is but it’s at least several weeks,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

Quinn is the second centerfielder to go down in a week. Odubel Herrera went on the IL with a mild hamstring strain last week. He could be ready to return sometime next week, according to Kapler. Also in the last week, the Phils lost shortstops Scott Kingery and Jean Segura to hamstring injuries. Segura is expected back in the lineup Saturday or Sunday.

With Quinn and Herrera out, Aaron Altherr got the start in center field Thursday night. Kapler said it was possible that Andrew McCutchen could get some time in center in the next few days. That would allow seldom-used Nick Williams a chance to get a start in left field. It’s also possible that Cozens could help fill the breach in center. Williams played some center field two years ago, but Kapler does not seem inclined to use him there.

“I don’t want to say it’s off the table but it’s not at the front of my mind right now,” Kapler said. “I’d prefer to ease him back in in left field if we’re going to go that route.”

Quinn, three weeks shy of his 26th birthday, has been plagued by a long list of injuries since being selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2011 draft.

He has missed significant time with a torn quadriceps, a torn Achilles tendon, a strained elbow ligament, a torn ligament in his middle finger, a concussion and a broken toe. He missed the start of this season while recovering from an oblique strain suffered in spring training.

“Same ol’, same ol’,” Quinn said Thursday. “I’ve never had [a groin] issue before. Put it on my list.”

Quinn, a 5-foot-9 inch package of lean muscle, has done about everything he can to avoid injuries. He spent the winter in Clearwater two years ago in a program dedicated to stretching. He’s had his diet analyzed.

Another injury, suffered running out a bunt, has left him very frustrated and it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever be able to exhibit the durability needed to be an everyday player.

“Roman is not trying to get hurt,” Kapler said. “To his defense, he has done everything in his power to stay on the field and his body has just not cooperated. I feel terrible for him. He is an uber-talented individual. He’s got special talent. He’s as athletic as anyone on the field. He’s as fast as anyone on the field. He’s got speed, power, athleticism, quickness. We’re doing everything in our power to keep him healthy. I feel personally responsible for digging in and not leaving any stone unturned for helping him stay on the field.”

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