Being placed on revocable waivers is almost a right of passage for any and all Major League Baseball players in August. With the July 31st trade deadline passed and teams in a better position to understand where they fall in the pennant race, said teams are a little more willing to hear what they could possibly fetch for various players on their rosters.
That doesn’t mean they are under any obligation to make a move.
Such is the case with the Toronto Blue Jays, who were confirmed by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe to have place both R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle on revocable waivers earlier this week. If neither player is claimed within 47 hours of being placed on waivers, the team is then open to trading them to any team in the league.
If claimed, the Blue Jays will 48.5 hours to work out a trade with the team awarded the claim (in reverse standing over) or pull the player back. If the players go unclaimed, the Blue Jays will be allowed to work out a trade with any team.
Now, given that both players come with contracts that are less than ideal, Dickey is owed $12 million for the 2015 season and has a $12 million club option, and Buehrle is owed a whoppingly back-loaded $19 million for the 2015 campaign, both players are likely to go unclaimed, which would afford the Blue Jays the chance to trade either before the end of the season, should a deal become available.
With that said, the Blue Jays are not likely to make either available in a deal unless they can be overwhelmed, something that is equally unlikely to happen. The two contracts are somewhat prohibitive based on the quality of player coming back in a trade, and Toronto is not known for sending money in a deal to offset a contract, at least enough to justify a decent return package.
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To say R.A. Dickey has had his ups and downs in a Blue Jays uniform would be putting it lightly. The knuckle-baller will turn 40 in October, and has managed a 4.11 ERA and 4.51 FIP over his two seasons in Toronto, and has surrendered 3 more home runs in a Blue Jays uniform (400.1 IP) that he did in a Mets uniform for three seasons (55). $12 million may not seem like a lot of money for a starter these days, but for a 40-year-old throwing a trick pitch and going in the wrong direction performance-wise, it will be hard to find a buyer.
As for Buehrle, has the Blue Jays opted to try and move him in May, when he was 10-1 with a 2.33 ERA, they likely could have sold high on Buehrle and found someone willing to overlook the $19 million price tag next season. However, the league caught on to Buehrle’s magic when the calendar turned to June, with the 35-year-old lefty posting a 2-7 record with a 4.31 ERA and batters reaching him for a .826 OPS. Desperate for pitching or not, Mark Buehrle’s not going to draw a bidder to bite on a contract generally awarded to an ace, not a mid-rotation starter.
Regardless of their performances, both for the entire season and down the stretch, Buehrle and Dickey will be asked to provide leadership to a young group of pitchers again next season, therefore, providing the Blue Jays with a higher level of worth than any possible trade could return. It won’t be a combined $31 million worth, but it will certainly allow the Blue Jays to address other areas of need during free agency.
In other words, you can hang onto those Dickey and Buehrle jerseys a little bit longer.