I don't mean the actual waivers process. The waiver period that's going on right now is pretty easy to understand. First and foremost, they are revocable waivers. Players go on waivers and they get pulled back if their teams aren't interested in making deals. They can get claimed and moved to the claiming team. They can go unclaimed and get moved to any team. This is all stuff you know, stuff you've heard about before.
But to this day a lot of people still raise their eyebrows when they hear about a big-time player on waivers. This, incidentally, is one of those things about baseball that's supposed to be secret and isn't. There are leaks everywhere. Major League Baseball is less like an organization and more like a colander. Every time, people respond that virtually every player goes on waivers in August and it isn't a big deal. But I don't remember hearing that literally every player goes on waivers. It's possible that every player does go on waivers. Every single player. My understanding, though, is that some don't. And the idea that some don't makes it eyebrow-raising when some do.
This is why I'm posting about this:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 31, 2012
#Mariners trade waivers update: Kevin Millwood cleared; Jason Vargas and Felix Hernandez claimed. @mlbonfox
It doesn't mean anything that Felix was placed on waivers and claimed, unless it means just a tiny little something. Again, if literally every single player is placed on waivers, then this is completely and utterly insignificant. If not every single player is placed on waivers, then there was some thought process behind placing Felix Hernandez on waivers. That's what people are thinking about when their eyebrows are approaching their hairlines.
There is no risk, of course, to putting Felix on waivers. Maybe he gets claimed or unclaimed and someone offers an entire farm system because they really want Felix for the stretch run. The only downside is the slim possibility that someone within the organization fucks up the paperwork and neglects to pull Felix back from waivers or something. But, see, paperwork. There's probably paperwork that goes into putting a guy on waivers. Something tells me it isn't as simple as sending a text message. Someone or someones presumably put some effort into the process of putting Felix on waivers. For that person or those persons, it was basically a waste of his or their time.
It must be easy to put a guy on waivers, since several hundreds of players go on waivers this time of year. To tell the truth this is an entire blog post about nothing and I don't have a point. I don't know why you're even still reading this. The Mariners aren't going to trade Felix Hernandez. If they weren't going to trade him last offseason or last July they sure as shit aren't going to trade him in August when their options are the most limited. Felix isn't a guy you give away as a salary dump. They're not trading Felix.
So why waive Felix? Just, why bother, even? You can do it on the very very slim off chance that somebody goes insane and offers everything. Everything that either clears waivers, isn't subject to waivers, or gets claimed by the Mariners, anyway. You know it isn't going to happen. These moves don't happen in August, and while you could point to the Red Sox/Dodgers insanity, that was a very different situation. If the Mariners have absolutely zero motivation to move Felix, and if no other team has ever offered a little moon before, what is the point? Is this just something teams do because it's something teams have always done?
More generally, is literally every player placed on waivers, or are some players not placed on waivers? If every player is placed on waivers, why do we get reports about players being placed on waivers? If some players are not placed on waivers, why is that? What is the thought process behind a team not bothering, and why doesn't that extend to more players? This is a situation where it would be way better to be on the inside than on the outside, where I hardly know a damned thing.
Did the Angels place Mike Trout on waivers? If so, why did they bother? If not, why did the Mariners place Felix on waivers? I'm not saying that Trout and Felix are equivalent values because they're not, but the odds that the Angels would move Trout aren't much lower than the odds that the Mariners would move Felix. It's just...it's just weird. I have a good understanding of the revocable waivers process, but it's still incomplete. Certain things are weird, and as long as they're weird, people are still going to make news out of things that really aren't actually news at all.
Kevin Millwood could still get dealt, though. Not yet out of time for Millwood to be eligible for a playoff roster! Stay tuned!