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Post Season Trade Deadline

The Major League Baseball trade deadline was a month ago, and that is when the biggest names were switching teams. That didn’t stop a few teams from making trades before the post season roster deadline this week.

Post Season Trade Deadline

Justin Upton was a headliner at the post season roster trade deadline

A player must clear waivers before being traded after the regular trade deadline. Many star players clear waivers because of their lucrative contracts, but playoff contenders looking for that last piece can find talent albeit at a steeper price. The biggest names traded at the August 31 deadline included Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips going to the Los Angeles Angels and Justin Verlander going to the Houston Astros. The Astros also claimed Cameron Maybin off waivers.

Most of the trades that occur in August are older veterans with multi-year contracts or higher salaries. Almost all players are put through revocable waivers because, if another team does make a claim, the original team can opt to pull the player back, work out a trade with the new team, or let the player go. If the original team opts to let the player go, they are no longer responsible for the player’s salary but get nothing in return.  The post season is the main factor for teams making trades this late in the year.

Baseball has complicated roster rules for those that don’t follow the sport, but the intrigue of a rule like this can keep pennant races fresh for fans. Unfortunately for Tigers fans, they are likely beginning a dreaded rebuilding period after a successful run that included two trips to the World Series. Verlander was a face of the franchise for years and now takes his blazing fastball to Houston who is looking to begin a dynasty run.

Post Season Trade Deadline

The Angels are making a post season push with Brandon Phillips

Two years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a trade to acquire Chase Utley from the Philadelphia Phillies. It was a post trade deadline deal that allowed Utley to be on the playoff roster. He has been a vital part of the team ever since, working in a utility role with a top contender that seems to have re-energized the 38-year old veteran.

Many times a team may make a trade for a player with an expiring contract and essentially giving up resources for a “rental” player. This was the case with Aroldis Chapman and the Chicago Cubs last season. Chapman was a piece that the Cubs needed, but they gave up prospects to acquire a player for less than two months of the season. The Angels acquired Phillips, who also has an expiring contract, but the former Atlanta Brave likely approved the trade (he had a no-trade clause) to try and compete for a title. They may or may not re-sign him after the season, but playoff pushes only come once a year. And not every year at that.

The August 31 trade deadline is for players to be added to playoff rosters. Teams can still make trades afterwards, but the players acquired would not be eligible for the post season. Teams can also rest starters or give playing experience to younger players with expanded rosters and September call-ups. For the teams with World Series ambitions, the players you see now are the ones you will see in the Fall Classic.

Trade rumors are over until after the season. The Annual Winter Meetings are the next time when teams will scrutinize over players and prospects and ways to improve clubs for the future. For now, there are a few faces in new places and players trying to earn the right to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy.

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