Detroit Tigers: Deals Aren’t Done for This Season

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Aug 7, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; A general view as umpires James Hoye (92) and Ted Barrett (65) go to a replay review in the fourth inning during the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The July 31 trade deadline gets fan attention but there’s one more target date that the Detroit Tigers can take advantage of to build their 2016 roster. August 31 is the deadline for waiver trades to be made if the acquiring team wants the player eligible for their postseason roster.

Major League teams load the waiver wire this time of year in hopes of clearing players for trade possibilities. If a player is not claimed during the 48 hour waiver period he’s eligible to be dealt to any team but other scenarios can also occur.

If a player placed on revocable waivers is claimed the team can always pull him back and keep him. They can only do this once. If a team places that same player on waivers again and he’s claimed, he cannot be revoked.

If a player is claimed off of waivers the original team and claiming team can attempt to work out a traded. They have 48 hours to finalize a deal or the player is removed from waivers and stays put.

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A player can be placed on waivers in an attempt to shed his contract and free up money for the following season. The claiming team pays the waiver price and acquires the player plus the remainder of the contract.

Years ago players were waived with an understanding between general managers that, if you don’t claim my players I won’t claim yours. Waiver wire activity was minimal and trade talks continued between teams through August with no obstacles. Now waiver scenarios can be tricky waters to navigate, testing a general manager’s skill in devising strategy while showing a poker face to rivals.

A team can put in a claim on a player in an attempt to block a rival from acquiring him. The risk is, that team may be stuck acquiring that player and his contract if the placing team doesn’t pull him back. General managers also tend to have long memories. If they’re blocked by a team they can block opportunities for that team the following season, or as many seasons as it takes to get revenge.

With Dave Dombrowski now out as the Tigers’ general manager and Al Avila promoted to the post it will be interesting to see what the team has in mind for August. Here are a few possibilities that could make sense and help the Tigers improve the haul of prospects they acquired in July.