Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Davidi on Jays: Playing the waivers game

Maybe Frenchy can hook up Burnett with some Delta miles.

Go back to last October and the number reaches 20, making general manager Alex Anthopoulos the undisputed heavyweight champion of the baseball world in bottom-feeding.

“Alex claims everybody,” Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette said with a hearty laugh…..

While clever from a management perspective, it can be trying for players caught in the cycle, like right-hander Alex Burnett.

Claimed by the Blue Jays from the Minnesota Twins on March 29 and immediately optioned to triple-A Buffalo, he was designated for assignment April 10 when Anthopoulos claimed Casper Wells from Seattle, was claimed by the Orioles on April 12 and immediately optioned to triple-A Norfolk, and recalled Monday by Baltimore.

Forget about things from a career perspective for a minute, and imagine all that personal upheaval in the span of three weeks.

“That’s the biggest part of the whole thing, I had my wife with me in spring training, she’s pregnant, so that made it even worse otherwise she’d be with me right now,” said Burnett. “We had to go to Dunedin and I said, ‘You know what, honey? Everything is crazy right now, go home.’ I didn’t want her flying all over the place with me and moving.

“I had to break a lease in Minnesota because I figured I was going to be there, I had to get out of a lease in Buffalo, I had to get my car shipped from Minnesota to Buffalo, now I have to get it from Buffalo to God knows where right now. Yeah, it’s been a very crazy few weeks.”....

“I think it’s something that should maybe be brought up in the next players’ association meeting. It is a bad situation when it carries on as long as it has for some people.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex burnett, blue jays, mlbpa, orioles, waivers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. John Northey Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4424536)
No question they need to address it - I say by cutting the time frame down drastically to 24 hours. A guy is on waivers, other clubs have 1 day to figure out if they want him or not. That's it. Add in a bonus for anyone claimed to help minor leaguers who get caught up in it (say, $25k per time) and you'll make it so there is a cost involved for clubs doing it and the players stuck on the treadmill get a bit of cash (for a minor leaguer $25k could be very significant). Split the $25k cost between the two teams involved too so that there is a cost for clubs doing the 40 man shuffle too (ie: you drop a guy from the 40 man, someone else claims him you lose $12.5k as well as the player...no one claims you just lose $12.5k to help the player with costs involved in moving...bigger incentive not to do that so often).

I could see the players association demanding changes as part of the next deal.
   2. Craig in MN Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4424539)
A silver lining for such players is that while stuck in such limbo they at least earn a major-league salary and accumulate service time.


Wouldn't they'd get the same if their second team didn't jerk them around and the third team got a chance to claim them and use them from the get go. The players union should negotiate a way to speed up the process in the first place, as well as a fee to the player when they are waived/claimed. The teams are willing to pay $20 grand to claim a player, how about adding another $10 grand to the player when they are claimed by a new team, or $25 grand if a team claims them and waives them again within a month.


Edit: Or what John said^
   3. Danny Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4424580)
On the other hand, raising the fee teams must pay to claim a player on waivers makes it more likely that a player will clear waivers and get outrighted to AAA. Once these guys are off the 40 man roster, it makes it much tougher for them to get back to the majors.
   4. SG Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4424613)
Could they make some kind of rule that a player can't be placed on waivers more than x times in y number of days? That would probably work out a bit better for the players being affected by the current rules.
   5. zonk Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4424629)
I don't see cutting the timeframe down helping - in fact, I could see it making matters worse/hitting more players.

If I were a GM, I'd be doing EXACTLY what AA does... I'd be hated amongst fringe players and other GMs alike simply because I'd be claiming almost everyone (org depth charts and total costs vs my budget considered, of course). I feel for players like Alex Burnett... but from my imaginary GM perspective -- Burnett is probably a better option for my organization than say, a late 20s org fodder 5th reliever on my PCL team. Burnett is young enough that there's a chance it clicks and he becomes useful, where I've certainly got guys in AA and AAA that are just warm bodies to plug innings. Given the chance, I'm taking the raffle ticket (as opposed to prospect-y lottery ticket) over the warm body.

Cut that down to 24 hours -- and all it means that I'm going to be constantly shuttling players on and off my own 40 man to clear space and/or just trying to sneak my new acquisitions through waivers again so I can outright them.

The money multiplier might make some headway -- figure, I can do 20 claims for roughly the price of an ML minimum salary, so if instead -- it becomes pricier, I might be budgetarily constrained to do fewer.

I think it's also important to note that as much as it might mean tumult for someone like Burnett -- if a team is trying to excise you off the 40 man roster, that's a really good bet you're no longer in their future plans, so a waiver claim IS a chance for career advancement simply because you might to stick on the claiming team's roster.

The way to probably stop people like AA (and the hypothetical me GM) is stop us from playing roster shenanigans... layer on fees for claiming a player and NOT keeping him on your own 40 man for the whole season (for example), etc. The problem though -- is that this doesn't HELP the player, it probably hurts, because more guys will slide through waivers and get buried waiting for the 6 year minor league clock to count down.

   6. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4424670)
Charlie Wilmouth at MLBTradeRumors had what I thought was a pretty good idea.
Major League rosters need to be flexible. A key injury, or a series of injuries, could occur at any time, and a team in a tough spot needs to be able to react. But the Blue Jays' use of the waiver claim system is frivolous and unsustainable (in that a class of players would be trapped in waiver loops indefinitely if other teams imitated the Jays), and it's unfortunate for the players involved.

For now, this is a minor problem. But it's still a problem, and it would be an easy one to fix. If a team claims a player, it ought to be required to keep that player on its 40-man roster for 30 days. That way, a waiver claim carries a small but real cost. Such a rule would have little effect on waiver claims by weaker teams like the Astros, since there would be little harm in a team in the Astros' situation committing to keeping a player on its roster for 30 days. And it would prevent already-strong teams like the Jays from trying to use the waiver claims process to supplement their minor-league systems, rather than to improve their Major League rosters.
   7. DL from MN Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4424845)
I like the 30 day requirement if there is a sliding scale $$ to buy that out. Let's say the guy just sucks or is hurt and you want to cut him before 30 days are up. In that case the team should be required to pay severance ($1000 per day left before 30 days are up) AND the player gets immediate free agency. If the team can't just grab-and-stash by trying to be the last team that outrights the player they'll be less inclined to make these moves.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4424892)
Add in a bonus for anyone claimed to help minor leaguers who get caught up in it (say, $25k per time)


That is all that would be needed to fix this in my opinion.
   9. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4424933)
That is all that would be needed to fix this in my opinion.

I think that + something like a 30-day requirement would do it.
   10. zonk Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4424949)
Actually - doesn't the $25k to the player really solve the main thing we're trying to solve?

It doesn't eliminate waiver merrygorounds - but it does essentially ensure that the fringers are covered. I.e., the big issue for a guy who signed without a big bonus, made the 40 man, then got dropped and claimed is that these are probably guys for whom breaking a lease actually WOULD be a big deal.... where the cost of shipping a car IS a big deal.

Give the waivee $25k -- no questions asked -- if he gets claimed and it seems to me that the problem is solved... That should be more than enough to deal with such expenses.

I'm sure it's still a pain jumping from city to city -- but the thing is, the whole waiver process serves the players, too... I.e., again - if a guy is getting dropped from one 40 man, he's getting buried in that orgs depth chart -- so another claimant (even someone like AA who's building org depth) gives them a new start in an org where they haven't fallen out of favor.

Basically -- it continues to let waivers serve some usefulness to the player -- moving to new orgs where they can get a new start and perhaps find a home for a budding career.

I don't think you want to wholly throttle down the waiver process -- in a perfect world, it actually serves the players to move to a new org that may seem them as more valuable -- you just want to deal with the issues faced by the fringers for whom 2-3 moves a year and all that goes into that would be a real problem.
   11. John Northey Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4424960)
If the $25k per time you are waived rule was put in place then a guy would love being claimed by AA - he likely gets two of them.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4424967)
It doesn't eliminate waiver merrygorounds - but it does essentially ensure that the fringers are covered. I.e., the big issue for a guy who signed without a big bonus, made the 40 man, then got dropped and claimed is that these are probably guys for whom breaking a lease actually WOULD be a big deal.... where the cost of shipping a car IS a big deal.


Agree.. I don't see any problem with teams trying to pick up players on the cheap, it's the jerking around that the players get and how it affects their life that I want to see fixed.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4424968)
Maybe there should just be a more generous relocation expenses reimbursement policy. I don't see why a player should get a bonus for sucking and getting waived.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4424973)
Actually - doesn't the $25k to the player really solve the main thing we're trying to solve?

It doesn't eliminate waiver merrygorounds - but it does essentially ensure that the fringers are covered. I.e., the big issue for a guy who signed without a big bonus, made the 40 man, then got dropped and claimed is that these are probably guys for whom breaking a lease actually WOULD be a big deal.... where the cost of shipping a car IS a big deal.


They should at least get moving expenses, including lease penalties, professional movers, etc.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4424976)
Maybe there should just be a more relocation expenses reimbursement policy. I don't see why a player should get a bonus for sucking and getting waived.


The bonus wouldn't be for getting waived, the bonus would be for getting claimed.
   16. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4424979)
There's two problems:
1) It screws around with players.
2) It screws around with the waiving teams, in that the claim is not necessarily being made with the intention of keeping the player on the 40-man.
The $ would have a positive effect with the former, less so with the latter.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4424980)
Well, you have to get waived to get the bonus.
   18. DL from MN Posted: April 24, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4425021)
If I'm an optimistic player on a 40 man roster but optioned to AAA I think I might choose an extended-stay hotel at $60/night rather than getting a lease. If they only reimburse for moving expenses that doesn't help reimburse the player for the hassle.

The other problem is the 10 days in limbo when they're designated for assignment and losing playing time. I'd rather see the player made a free agent if they're designated twice in 30 days. Then they can pick a team where they'll get playing time.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4425048)
#18 makes the point I was going to make. The 48-hour thing is not really a problem -- although I agree that in this day and age of email, text, etc. 48 hours is unnecessary. But it's the 10-day designated for assignment period that seems whack.

It's like my opinion on having affairs -- one relationship at a time dude. If you want the new hottie on your 40-man roster, fine, but you don't get 10 days to try to work out a trade for the old model.

I do feel a bit for a guy like Burnett. He was drafted in 2005 and it's 8 years later and he's still got options left and he's got a bit more than 3 years of service time left before he becomes an FA. He was drafted quite young and is still only 25 so it's not as bad as some college draftees but he still may not have control over what organization he plays for until 2017 ... 12 years after entering pro ball. I hope this is at least his last option year.
   20. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: April 24, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4425122)
Matt Eddy also has an article about this today at Baseball America. The Davidi article linked here isn't a hatchet job on the Jays by any means, but it does seem to skew toward highlighting the negatives. In the BA article it goes the other way a bit and quotes agents of affected players saying that AA is pretty upfront with the players he claims about his intentions with them. And there are some other good morsels about why the Jays are in a position to do this and their motivations.

I still think some of the ideas laid out here like some comp to the claimed players and keeping a claimed player for 30 days before waiving again are worthwhile.
   21. DL from MN Posted: April 24, 2013 at 08:20 PM (#4425164)
Twins didn't burn any options on Burnett that I know of. Added to the 40 man and stayed on the roster because he was one of the least-worst bullpen options.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4425341)
Twins didn't burn any options on Burnett that I know of.

I think either they must have burned one or he must have gone through the minors equivalent of rule 5 at least once. Drafted in 2005, I'm pretty sure he had to be added to the 40-man (or left unprotected) by at least 2009 and didn't debut until 2010. But his performance to that point hadn't been special so I can believe he was available before the 2009 season and nobody was willing to burn the spot on him.

So he looks to have at least one and maybe two option years left after this year. That makes it much easier to churn him in and out of the ML bullpen as needed, limiting his service time. Even if he has reasonable success, he may not see FA until 2018 or even 19. I suppose at some point in there his 6-year minor-league clock would tick over right? (I'm a bit rusty on how this all works these days.)
   23. DL from MN Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4425498)
If you're placed on a 40 man roster I think your minor league clock stops being relevant. If Burnett is outrighted off a 40 man roster I think he's a free agent at the end of the year. I'd like to know if I'm wrong on that.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'.
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5116 - 6:02pm, Dec 20)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1371 - 5:56pm, Dec 20)
Last: Dan The Mediocre

NewsblogAngels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel - LA Times
(17 - 5:51pm, Dec 20)
Last: dr. scott

NewsblogTrading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog
(90 - 5:43pm, Dec 20)
Last: flournoy

NewsblogOT - College Football Bowl Spectacular (December 2014 - January 2015)
(105 - 5:39pm, Dec 20)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(137 - 5:36pm, Dec 20)
Last: dr. scott

NewsblogThe right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post
(10 - 5:11pm, Dec 20)
Last: Win Big Stein's Money

NewsblogGiants acquire McGehee to fill third-base spot
(3 - 4:38pm, Dec 20)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(104 - 4:35pm, Dec 20)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogAmazin' Avenue - Cohen: Mets and Rockies discussing Troy Tulowitzki deal with Noah Syndergaard as the centerpiece
(48 - 4:27pm, Dec 20)
Last: billyshears

NewsblogThe Yankees’ plan in case A-Rod can’t play at all
(9 - 4:24pm, Dec 20)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr. says it would be best if Phillies move on from Ryan Howard
(30 - 4:23pm, Dec 20)
Last: ellsbury my heart at wounded knee

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(754 - 2:52pm, Dec 20)
Last: Famous Original Joe C

NewsblogThe 4 surprisingly quiet teams of the MLB offseason
(37 - 2:38pm, Dec 20)
Last: Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch)

NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
(318 - 2:03pm, Dec 20)
Last: frannyzoo

Page rendered in 0.2640 seconds
48 querie(s) executed