The Trade Deadline is here!
No, not that Trade Deadline. The one you think of as THE Trade Deadline comes on July 31, and is called the “non-waiver trade deadline” because it’s the deadline by which teams can freely trade players back and forth with no real restrictions.
After the non-waiver trade deadline, deals can still be made, but they’re subject to the waiver system we discussed earlier this month. And today is the last day that a new player can be added from outside the organization and still be eligible for a playoff roster. Thus, it’s the Waiver Trade Deadline. (We got a little deeper into the playoff roster rules last year, and it all still stands if you want the details on the roster side of this stuff.)
We’ve seen some deals and plenty of rumors on the waiver front (and the Cubs claimed Rene Rivera off of waivers), but will anything major come to fruition today?
The Cubs are reportedly still talking to the Tigers about Justin Verlander, but Verlander threw a big wrench in that last night when he said he felt fatigue in his trapezius, and thinks it was from hitting. That doesn’t mean he’s injured, but when the margins for a deal are already so slim and the time so short, it’s hard to see it not having an impact.
I maintain that talks on a Cubs-Verlander trade are more likely to be an early offseason thing.
How about a backup shortstop? With Addison Russell returning to Chicago for further evaluation after a setback in his foot recovery, the Cubs may want to bring in a backup today juuuuuust in case things go really wrong with Russell and with Javy Baez. The type of veteran backup they could add today is not a guy you’d want to see starting in the playoffs, but it might be a better fit than what the Cubs have in-house at Iowa.
Elsewhere, you may see moves around baseball, but a huge deal would be a surprise. Then again, no one saw yesterday’s Mike Leake trade coming, so who knows …