As you’ll recall, the “Trade Deadline” in Major League Baseball is actually one of two deadlines – and neither are actually a true date by which all trades must be completed.
The first, the July 31 “non-waiver trade deadline” is considered the primary trade deadline because it represents the date by which you must make a trade if you want to make that trade without having to deal with the waiver system (which makes trades exponentially more difficult to complete). The Cubs did a whole lot of nothing at that deadline.
Today marks the second trade deadline, otherwise known as the “waiver trade deadline,” so dubbed because it marks the typical end of the waiver trading period. Players traded in August must first be subjected to waivers, which makes them eligible to be traded. The process is unnecessarily complicated, so I’ll not repeat it now. Feel free to bone up here if so inclined. Last year, the Cubs traded Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot in August, so it does happen.
Trades can actually still take place in September, but August 31 is the date by which a player must be on a team’s roster if that team wants to use that player in the postseason. Thus, for most practical purposes, August 31 is the final trade deadline.
Will the Cubs make any moves today? It’s highly unlikely.
Yes, several Cubs have cleared waivers, including Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, and John Grabow. But, even if the Cubs weren’t in a holding pattern with interim GM Randy Bush in charge, it’s unlikely they could find a taker for any of the latter three right now (though, AL teams in need of a DH: Alfonso Soriano’s OPS is well over 1.100 in his last eight games, with four homers and three doubles).
As for Ramirez, though it’s hard to be sure given the previous back-and-forth, it seems like he’s decided to stay in Chicago through the rest of the year, and will not waive his no-trade rights if the Cubs tried to trade him today.
So, today’s trade deadline is likely to pass much like the one on July 31: with a whole lot of nothing.
At least I won’t have stayed up 24 straight hours this time.