NEW YORK -- With Marlon Byrd have been claimed by an NL team off waivers and the Mets negotiating a potential trade, according to a source, it is worth revisiting the actual rules governing August trades. Here's the full set of rules, as written by MLB:
• There are three options when a player has been claimed on waivers in August: 1) the team running the player through waivers and the club awarded the claim on the player can work out a trade; 2) the team running the player through waivers can tell the claiming club that the player is now theirs without compensation; or 3) the team running the player through waivers can revoke it and keep the player as if nothing happened.
• There is a two-day period during which a player can be claimed once he's been put through waivers.
• If a player clears waivers (i.e., no one claims him), then he can be traded to ANY team through the end of the year. (But August 31st is the deadline for Postseason eligibility.)
• When a player goes through waivers and only one club makes a claim, that club gets the claim and he can only be traded to that one team, if it gets worked out with the player’s club.
• When multiple clubs make a claim, the claim goes to the worst claiming team in the player's current league. If no team from the player's current league makes a claim, then it goes to the other league. Clubs with the worst records get priority (i.e., the first chance to make a claim).
• August trade waivers are revocable (i.e., can be cancelled).
• A player has to be a member of a club by August 31 in order to be eligible for the Postseason.
• All 40-man roster players have to go through waivers. Non-40-man Minor League players do not have to go through waivers. (Sometimes a 40-man Minor League player who is a component in a trade will simply become a player to be named later if he gets blocked during August.)
• The priority goes by club records from the date prior to expiration of the claim. Trade waivers are the only waivers that go by league first. So it's easier for an AL team to trade for an AL player and an NL team to trade for an NL player; essentially, there are fewer obstacles.