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Monday, September 10, 2012

Calcaterra: MLB Investigating waiver wire leaks involving the Red Sox

Take this as a sign that the Red Sox are trying to get the waiver rules changed, and are looking to tear down public opinion of waiver rules so they’ll look good when they dump them.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports:

According to an industry source, Major League Baseball is investigating the unusually high number of reports regarding waiver wire activity involving the Sox throughout August.

Bradford notes that the Sox aren’t under suspicion for leaking… More to come, I presume.

The District Attorney Posted: September 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: craig calcaterra, dodgers, red sox

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4231769)
I have no idea what I just read.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4231793)
I have no idea what I just read.


You just read The District Attorney humorously introducing Craig Calcaterra relaying Rob Bradford giving reports from an industry source that says there is some investigation of other reports. Miraculously, needless hashtags were not involved.
   3. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4231798)
I have no idea what I just read
Lots of players pass through waivers because teams don't check the waiver wire regularly. Reporters aren't notified of who is on waivers by the teams or MLB. Teams don't release the info publicly. Generally, the only way for a team to know who was put on waivers is for the team to check the waiver list, regularly.

If someone is leaking the presence of Red Sox players on the list, and it isn't the Red Sox, then it could be that a team is trying to encourage other teams to block a possible trade. Let's use the Giants as an example... A week or two before the trade they were just ahead of the Dodgers, and thus couldn't block any claims the Dodgers made on waived players. If the Giants noticed how good a fit some of the Red Sox players are for the Dodgers, they could leak the presence of those Red Sox players to the media, whose reporting of the information might call attention to teams that could claim ahead of LA and thwart any trade plans.

If the Red Sox were leaking the info, that would be a different thing; but that's not what is being suggested.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4231800)
You just read The District Attorney humorously introducing Craig Calcaterra relaying Rob Bradford giving reports from an industry source that says there is some investigation of other reports.
I'm reporting that this is correct.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4231802)
My explanation was much more unhelpful.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4231808)
But why would the Giants only be leaking the names of Red Sox players? There are loads of players on waivers who could help the Dodgers.
   7. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4231809)
To follow on my #3... So if a team were doing that, it smacks a little bit of collusion - but not owners vs. players. Rather, it would be 28 teams vs. 2 teams (or 28 vs. 1, more accurately).
   8. JJ1986 Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4231817)
Someone also leaked the names of Ellsbury and Lester after the Dodgers trade. I think it was pretty clear they wouldn't be traded or let go at that point.
   9. What Zupcic? Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4231824)
...whose reporting of the information might call attention to teams that could claim ahead of LA and thwart any trade plans


How likely is it that any major league team is so inept that they're relying on the media for who is/isn't available on waivers? Jokes about the Astos/Ned Coletti aside, seems like this would be akin to a team's GM reading Bleacher Report to see who the good free agents will be this offseason...

I suspect MLB is just mad the rule is being broken, not that it's actually altering team behavior.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4231833)
You just read The District Attorney humorously introducing Craig Calcaterra relaying Rob Bradford giving reports from an industry source that says there is some investigation of other reports.

I'm reporting that this is correct.

you expect us to take your word for it???
   11. Swedish Chef Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4231835)
I guess this involves a bored intern somewhere.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4231836)
How likely is it that any major league team is so inept that they're relying on the media for who is/isn't available on waivers? Jokes about the Astos/Ned Coletti aside, seems like this would be akin to a team's GM reading Bleacher Report to see who the good free agents will be this offseason...

Are you saying you think the Astros and Cubs front office staffs actually still show up for work?

I'd figure they'd have all gone out on a hellacious month long bender after the trade deadline, and be busy golfing now.
   13. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4231837)
But why would the Giants only be leaking the names of Red Sox players? There are loads of players on waivers who could help the Dodgers.
But it was reported early in August that the Dodgers had inquired about a Gonzalez trade before the deadline. It was reported in late July that the Dodgers (and other teams) had inquired about a Beckett trade. And Boston didn't initially put either of them on waivers, which suggests when they did put them on waivers that they might have been working on a deal.

EDIT: I just want to dial this back a bit. I started down this path by suggesting a reason why MLB would feel the need to investigate waiver leaks involving the Red Sox, with the Red Sox not being the target of the leaks. If you want to dismiss my suggestion or poke holes in it, that's fine; I'm not all that interested in defending it. But at least offer up a more plausible rationale for a team leaking another's waiver list on a scale that MLB would be concerned about.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4231841)
According to a BBTF source close to the situation, jmacc66 is disputing the The District Attorney's report that The District Attorney humorously introduced Craig Calcaterra relaying Rob Bradford giving reports from an industry source that says there is some investigation of other reports.
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4231854)
How likely is it that any major league team is so inept that they're relying on the media for who is/isn't available on waivers? Jokes about the Astos/Ned Coletti aside, seems like this would be akin to a team's GM reading Bleacher Report to see who the good free agents will be this offseason...


Given the volume of players that get put on waivers it probably isn't unheard of for a meaningful player to get missed. If you're paging through a list of 300 guys, and I don't know what format these are delivered to the teams, the idea that someone would miss a name isn't that farfetched.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Clatyon Mortensen
Junichi Tazawa
Nick Punto
Adrian Gonzalez
Mike Aviles
Ryan Sweeney
Felix Doubront

etc...etc...expand that list to 200 names and I bet a whoopsie or two happens.

Having said all that I suspect you are right that the breaking of the rule rather than the actual impact of breaking that rule is the bigger issue to MLB.
   16. JJ1986 Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4231857)
But at least offer up a more plausible rationale for a team leaking another's waiver list on a scale that MLB would be concerned about.


I'm not sure why MLB would be concerned about either, but it's possible that it was someone in the Dodgers office leaking it to try and gauge reactions. Maybe some part of the front office wanted to make the trade and wanted public support to convince the rest of the front office. At least a day before the trade, an LA writer had all the info and published it as speculation so the Dodgers were definitely leaking some stuff.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4231860)
Given the volume of players that get put on waivers it probably isn't unheard of for a meaningful player to get missed. If you're paging through a list of 300 guys, and I don't know what format these are delivered to the teams, the idea that someone would miss a name isn't that farfetched.


Isn't it 2 guys at a time per team? So at most it's a list of 58 guys.
   18. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4231865)
Isn't it 2 guys at a time per team? So at most it's a list of 58 guys.


Is that true? I didn't know that (obviously). That certainly makes it less likely that a name would get missed.
   19. DL from MN Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4231870)
I think I read in the Joe Mauer waiver rumor discussion that player agents have access to the waiver wire. This might not be a front office leak at all.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4231880)
Is that true? I didn't know that (obviously). That certainly makes it less likely that a name would get missed.


I'm wrong. Reading the rules, it's 7 players per day so it could be more than 200.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4231886)
you expect us to take your word for it???
I know, but I can't tell you.
   22. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4231890)
I think teams just want that information kept inside baseball, because if you don't trade the guy you have to live with him next year knowing you tried to trade him.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 10, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4231916)
I think teams just want that information kept inside baseball, because if you don't trade the guy you have to live with him next year knowing you tried to trade him.

Can't they just solve that by adopting a policy of putting everyone on waivers every year?
   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4231919)
How likely is it that any major league team is so inept that they're relying on the media for who is/isn't available on waivers?


Its' possible that someone with Team A is trying to influence Team B's owner- the idea being that Team A's owner is the type who is attracted to bright and shiny objects, and Team A's owner does not personally check the waver wires, and the people who do are not unduly influenced by bright and shiny objects... so it's a roundabout way of going over some GM's head I suppose
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4231922)
I think teams just want that information kept inside baseball, because if you don't trade the guy you have to live with him next year knowing you tried to trade him.


Can't they just solve that by adopting a policy of putting everyone on waivers every year?


I think part of the waiver process is the timing. I.E. teams put players on waivers at different times during the month for certain reasons.
   26. Dave Spiwak Posted: September 10, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4231929)
I don't what format this "waiver wire" is in but can't they just put the names of the good players in bold or all caps or something so lazy GMs won't miss anything important?
   27. PepTech Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4231964)
Sure, and then it leaks that you bolded Lester but not Salty. Then what? Who thinks of the children?
   28. jyjjy Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4231965)
MLB is very big business. The idea that any team isn't fully aware of what is going on on the waiver wire is absurd to me honestly.
   29. Traderdave Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4231985)
What is the waiver "wire"? Email? Robocall? Fax? Hand-delivered telegram? Smoke signal?
   30. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4231986)
Are you saying you think the Astros and Cubs front office staffs actually still show up for work?

C'mon now, somebody had to stay in the office through all of August in case somebody dialled 1-800-ALFONSO.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4231987)
In fantasy baseball, if someone else releases to waivers an intriguing player whom I hope to snap up, I do a couple of meaningless transactions or changes to my 'trading block' so that the notification of the player being dropped gets bounced off of the league front page. Maybe the Dodgers did that this August.
   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 10, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4232008)
etc...etc...expand that list to 200 names and I bet a whoopsie or two happens.

For example, you wrote "Clatyon Mortensen", which I believe is a subatomic particle. If you tried to claim him on the waiver wire you might get trumped by someone lower on the list who spelled it correctly.

In fantasy baseball, if someone else releases to waivers an intriguing player whom I hope to snap up, I do a couple of meaningless transactions or changes to my 'trading block' so that the notification of the player being dropped gets bounced off of the league front page.

Aha! That's why someone in my league, the one time I played fantasy baseball, was constantly doing things like dropping Phil Dumatrait and adding Walter Silva, and then dropping Walter Silva and adding Jeff Fulchino, and then dropping Jeff Fulchino and adding Garrett Mock. I thought he had OCD or something.
   33. tjm1 Posted: September 10, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4232011)
MLB is very big business. The idea that any team isn't fully aware of what is going on on the waiver wire is absurd to me honestly.


More absurd than drafting based on the shape of a guy's face?

It should be straightforward to have some in your IT department sort guys by various stats or by salary so that you don't miss good players on the waiver wire, unless these things are going around by fax only or something. Even then, OCR is pretty good these days. It wouldn't shock me if some teams don't allocate their resources well enough to do this, and just rely on the GM and 1-2 assistants looking at the lists.
   34. Greg Franklin Posted: September 10, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4232042)
What is the waiver "wire"? Email? Robocall? Fax? Hand-delivered telegram? Smoke signal?


It is not very well known, but the Red Sox and other advanced-technology sabr-positive clubs use rec.sport.baseball as their waiver wire, counting on the low S/N ratio to camouflage their waivers.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4232076)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia

this would be a pretty hard name to miss
   36. Greg Franklin Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4232671)
A CSN New England columnist:

oh yeah, the Red Sox are totally leaking


And as for the potential trade ramifications, from everything that's been written, Lucchino could have made a pass at one of Stan Kasten's daughters and the Dodgers president/part-owner still would have jumped through hoops to wrestle Gonzalez away. For him, it was the perfect opportunity to take his team to the next level. And for the Sox, the perfect opportunity to kick off their favorite August/September past time.
   37. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4232787)
What is the waiver "wire"? Email? Robocall? Fax? Hand-delivered telegram? Smoke signal?

It's called the "wire" because originally it was a telegram from the league office. I'm sure nowdays it's an email or a website.
   38. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4232811)
Even if it were still a telegram or fax or whatever, you just pay some flunky to type the info into a database, which can easily be configured with the names of everyone in baseball and some kind of ranking system. Based on the rank of the player in question, the system can alert the appropriate people via SMS or whatever (e.g. if it's some blah middle reliever, maybe just send an email to the assistant to the secretary of the assistant director of player personnel, but if it's Evan Longoria, page Ben NAO!).

This would be pretty simple to set up. In 2012 there's just no excuse for missing things like this.

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