What happens when a team places a player on major league waivers during the Aug. 1 to Sept. 29 waiver period? Consider this typical case involving righthand-hitting DH- catcher Mike Stanley.
?In early August the Boston Red Sox place Stanley and several other players on waivers. It is not unusual for clubs to run almost all of their 25 players through waivers during this period. No player during this time can be traded without first being put on waivers.
?Any club can claim Stanley within three business days. (If none does, Stanley can be dealt to any team.) The Red Sox are notified that Stanley has been claimed and receive a list of the claiming teams. Only one team, though, is awarded the claim, with precedence given to the club with the worst record within the player's league—in this case, the American League—and then to the team with the worst record in the other league.
?The New York Yankees have coveted Stanley for weeks. American League East rival Baltimore cannot block him from possibly going to New York, because the Yankees have a worse record than the Orioles. But wild-card contenders like the Seattle Mariners and the Anaheim Angels (not to mention any other American League club) could keep Stanley out of pinstripes by claiming him. They don't. The Yankees are awarded the claim.
?The Red Sox have 48 hours to decide what to do with Stanley. They can 1) withdraw the waivers and keep Stanley. If they put him on waivers again this season, those waivers become irrevocable—they will lose him to a claiming club or be forced to release him; 2) release Stanley to the Yankees for the $20,000 waiver price, in which case the Yankees must assume the obligations of his contract; or 3) work out a trade with New York. Boston asks for 19-year-old Class A righthander Tony Armas Jr., one of New York's top prospects, as the principle player in the deal. The Yankees, fearful that their struggles against lefthanded starters will doom them in the postseason, decide to pay the high price. Two weeks after the July 31 trading deadline, Stanley becomes a Yankee.