Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How to Fix the Mess of the Second Wild Card

So Bud Selig had a light bulb of an idea to turn the races for the postseason into drama central with a second wild card team and it has worked to an extent, but unfortunately it has messed up the trade deadlines. I've been saying this since he announced the second wild card, but now that I have an actual forum let me officially announce what I think Selig should do, he should push back the none waiver deadline to August 31st and the waiver deadline to the second or third week of September. Why? because with the second wild card more teams are taking longer to decide whether they are "buyers" (a team that is looking for one or more pieces to compete into the playoffs like the Pittsburgh Pirates) or "sellers" (a team without playoff inspirations and is trying to reload with prospects looking forward into the future like the New York Mets).

With the deadlines pushed back more teams that are sellers will notice their standing and decide to sell off pieces without having to deal with the revocable waiver process. Putting a player on revocable waivers opens him up to being claimed by a team and then that team has three options if one of its players is claimed off revocable waivers. That team can either pull the player back without penalty (like the Milwaukee Brewers did when they pulled pitcher Kyle Lohse back after the Atlanta Braves claimed him), work out a trade with the claiming team (like the New York Mets did with the Pittsburgh Pirates), or simply hand the player over for nothing (like Toronto Blue Jays did with Alex Rios and the Chicago White Sox who walked away with Rios without giving anything up). Not that dealing with revocable waivers is that difficult, but it limits the amount of teams that a team can trade a player to. Instead of being able to shop a player to the whole league the team can only offer the player to the team that claimed him.

Let's take Kyle Lohse for example, had the none waiver trade deadline been August 31st the Milwaukee Brewers would've been able to shop Lohse to all the teams that are competing for the playoffs instead of working something out with just the Atlanta Braves. If Milwaukee decides to trade Lohse in the offseason they can angle themselves better to get the best possible package for Lohse instead of whatever the Braves were willing to give for him.

I'm not saying that the revocable waiver deadline should be removed, but it along with the none waiver deadline should be pushed back. The second wild card is a good idea, but moving the trade deadlines back would make the whole situation better.

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