As you now know, although the non-waiver Trade Deadline was July 31, teams can still make trades in August – it’s just a little complicated. There’s a reason the July 31 deadline gets all the hype.
To that end, Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer confirmed that the team is working the waiver wire, trying to find possible pieces to help down the stretch (ESPN, Tribune). The 48-hour window to make a deal after a waiver claim is put in, of course, makes things difficult, and Hoyer said it’s much easier/more realistic to get a deal done with respect to a player who clears waivers and is freely tradable. Still, the Cubs have made some claims, says Hoyer, but the players have ultimately been pulled back by their team.
It’s funny to think about how much is going on behind the scenes right now that we’ll never know – the waiver process is kept very tightly under wraps, and, in some ways, last year’s multiple reports of the Cubs claiming Cole Hamels (who was eventually pulled back by the Phillies) was the exception, rather than the rule. I bet there are claims going on all the time that would blow your mind (until you realize, as it was with the Cubs and Hamels, that actually putting a deal together is a near impossibility).
Meanwhile, some other teams have been able to pull off waiver deals recently, with the Astros picking up lefty Oliver Perez from the Diamondbacks, the Rangers landing Mike Napoli from the Red Sox, and the Braves and Indians swapping Chris Johnson, Michael Bourn, and Nick Swisher. Each deal was of the kind you typically see this month: complementary players (Perez), unproductive vets in walk years (Napoli), and huge, ugly contracts (Johnson/Bourn/Swisher).
The Cubs could still make a deal before this month is up, and, by most rumors, the guy to watch is Chase Utley, who has been rehabbing an ankle injury.