Honestly, no one should be shocked. It came as no surprise that GM Walt Jocketty and the Cincinnati Reds didn’t pull off any trades as the non-waiver deadline passed at 4 PM today. The likely suspect: the asking price.
In today’s “rumor central”, the Reds were linked mostly to a pair of relievers: Javier Lopez of the San Francisco Giants and James Russell of the Chicago Cubs. The fact that both are lefties relievers led some to believe that the issues centering around Sean Marshall‘s shoulder are worse that previously believed. Jocketty stated the he thought Marshall could return “in a few weeks”.
Jocketty also said the he did attempt to add an offensive piece, but two things came into play. One was the return of Ryan Ludwick from the disabled list. The other was Walt believed that the available pieces were not an upgrade from what Ludwick could offer. It is a risky proposition as there is no guarantee that Ludwick will perform at the same level he did last season.
But don’t think the door is completely closed on any trades. Deals can still be made until August 31, but there is a wrinkle.
First, a player on a team’s 40-man roster is placed on waivers. Any of the other 29 teams can put in a claim on a player. In the event more than one team places a claim, “winning claim” is based on reverse order of team’s won-loss record and the league in which the team placing a player on waivers plays. If he is an NL player, the other NL teams get the first crack at placing a claim. If he passes through the NL, then the AL teams get their opportunity.
As of this moment, the Reds would be the 10th of the other 14 NL teams that can place a claim. This means that the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 4.5 games behind the Reds for the NL’s second wild card, could claim a player prior to the Reds.
If a claim is made on a player, the team that placed the player on waivers can elect to take back the claim and keep the player, work out a trade with the claiming team or allow the team which placed the claim to obtain that player’s rights including his contract. If that player is not claimed by any of the other 29 teams the player’s current team can trade him to any other team.
If some wish to find consolation to the Reds making no acquisitions to improve the team, neither did the St. Louis Cardinals or Pittsburgh Pirates.