It's August, so it's the time of year where every Major League Baseball player will be placed on waivers. July 31 is only the non-waiver trade deadline, August 31 is the real trade deadline. If a player goes through waivers unclaimed, he is eligible to be traded to any team in baseball. If a player is claimed, the team with the winning claim has a brief window to negotiate with the owning team for a trade.
As such, some high profile names have already been placed on waivers. Most notably, Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Source: Phillies have placed Cliff Lee on waivers. Executives expect him to clear Friday afternoon, be eligible for trade.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 2, 2012
It's sort of crazy to think that Lee won't be claimed, but that's the reality of his contract. Lee is going to make $25 million dollars per year over the next three years, and then is owed $12.5 million in the final year of his contract. That's not exactly small potatoes.
If Lee were to be claimed, I'd guess it'd be by the Yankees, but the Yankees have to get ready to write some large checks of their own, with Curtis Granderson and Robbie Cano nearing free agency.
If Lee passes through unclaimed, as he should, the Phillies can trade him to any team. There will likely be speculation of Lee to the Rangers throughout the month, but I'd bet against it. If the Phillies and Rangers were unable to agree on how much money the Phillies should eat last month, then they're probably still unable to agree on that amount this month.
Plus, with Mike Olt now up in Arlington, he'll need to pass through waivers in order to be eligible for a trade -- or have the Phillies have the winning claim. It's just not a feasible scenario.