Players on waivers usually routine
It's not always indicative of who's on the trading block
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Andruw Jones is not necessarily available -- most players are placed on waivers to conceal a team's true intentions. (Bill Boyce/AP)
ATLANTA -- There really wasn't reason for Andruw Jones to act surprised when informed on Thursday that the Braves had placed him on the waiver wire. This isn't the first time he's been there and it's no secret that a large percentage of Major Leaguers are put on waivers by their respective clubs during the first few days of August.
Word that Jones had been placed on the waiver wire was treated as big news in Atlanta on Thursday and Friday. Had the Gold Glove center fielder's name not been included in a number of trade rumors, including one that had him going to the Red Sox, earlier this week, this realization may not have created much of a stir.
According to a high-ranking Braves official, this is a simple procedural process that teams go through on an annual basis. In other words, a multitude of players, ranging from a veteran like John Smoltz to a role player like Matt Diaz, will be placed on waivers to gauge interest from other teams.
If Jones (either Andruw or Chipper), were the only player placed on the waiver wire by the Braves, then all other teams would know exactly who the Braves were looking to move. By placing many, or, in some instances, every member of their 25-man roster on waivers, a team can at least keep their intentions masked.
But there are at least some reasons to believe the Braves are interested in trading Andruw Jones. When he becomes a 10-and-5 player (10 years of Major League service time and 5 consecutive seasons in the same organization) in mid-August, the eight-time Gold Glove center fielder will have the right to reject potential trades.
Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2007 season and with Scott Boras as his agent, he may demand a salary much steeper than the Braves are willing to offer. They already have Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson locked into large salaries through the 2009 season and both Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann will soon become arbitration-eligible players.
Andruw Jones' salary ($13 million this season and $13.5 for the 2007 season) wouldn't scare too many big-budgeted teams away, thus there's certainly a chance he could be moved this month. But he's made it known his primary desire is to stay in Atlanta.
"I got my house [in Atlanta]," Jones said. "My wife's family is here. So why not stay in Atlanta? I don't have control on that."
In two weeks, Jones will have some control with his right to veto any potential trades. But that doesn't necessarily mean the Braves feel they must move their prized outfielder.
Here is a look at how a trade can be completed via the waiver wire process:
In most instances, teams place a large number of their players on waivers and still never follow through with a trade. But through this process, they can at least gauge interest and see if there are sensible and available trade options that would allow them to fill a present need or relieve themselves of a high-salaried player.
With the passing of Monday's trade deadline, all teams must now pass players through waivers before trading them.
Beginning Tuesday, all teams were permitted to place as many as seven players per day on the waiver wire. Thus by Friday, many teams will have already put members of their 25-man roster on waivers.
Multiple teams can claim a player who has been placed on waivers. If two teams were to claim a specific player, the lower-ranking team according to winning percentage (whether it be an American or National League team), is given rights to that player for 48 hours.
If the Astros and Red Sox were to both put a claim on Andruw Jones, the Astros would have that 48-hour period to discuss a trade with the Braves. If nothing materialized, Jones would remain with the Braves.
All players remain on the waiver wire for two full business days. If they are never claimed, they can be traded at any point, to any team for the remainder of the season. But to be eligible for the postseason, a player must be traded by Aug. 31.
If a player is claimed by a team and a deal never materializes, a team will not likely place them back on waivers. When they initially place a player on waivers, a team has the right to pull them back at any time.
But when a player is placed on waivers a second time, the claim is irrevocable. Thus any claiming team owns the rights and a trade must be completed.