Matt SilvermanThe trade deadline came and went without the Rays adding any offense to an offensively deprived roster but that doesn’t mean they can’t still make a move. In fact, Matt Silverman thinks August is a better month to make trades.

During the latest episode of “This Week in Rays Baseball” podcast, Neil Solondz asked Silverman about the trade deadline and the lack of additions to the big league roster.

“I feel like August might be a better month to add offense. We’re going to get [Desmond] Jennings back. But during the waiver process, we’ll have an opportunity to see what’s out there. Given where we are in the standings, we’re close to the Wild Card, but we’re in front of a lot of other teams in terms of waiver claims. So, we’re going to be able to see some activity and possibly pick up some offense there.”

In August, teams can still make trades. However, in order to trade a player, a team must first put the player on waivers. If the player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team. If a player is claimed on waivers, the team can either work out a trade with the team making the claim or they can let the team making the claim just have the player (this might happen if a team just wants to get rid of a bad contract).

In the past, we have discussed how being 3-4 games back in the Wild Card is not as close as it sounds since that often means you are behind 4-5 teams in the standings. The upside to that is what Silverman is referring to above. That is, being behind those teams in the standings means the Rays get first dibs on players placed on waivers. If the Rays see somebody on waivers they want, they can put in a claim and if no other team below the Rays in the standings makes a claim, the Rays can then negotiate a trade. The other upside is that there are no bidding wars if a claim is made since the player cannot be traded to any other teams.

The downside to using this as a strategy is three-fold. First, waiting to make a trade until August is like showing up to a garage sale just before it ends. Yeah, you might be able to get a good deal, but all the good stuff is gone. Second, the longer a team waits to add a player, the less of an impact that player can have on the playoff race. And third, the standings can change. A couple of wins and all of a sudden the Rays are ahead of the Rangers, Tigers, and White Sox and suddenly that waiver-wire advantage is not as strong as it was a week ago. Sure, that means the Rays are closer to the playoffs, but they are not closer to fixing a putrid offense which can go belly-up at any given moment.

But hey, maybe the Rays can add a Gordon Beckham or Kelly Johnson. Woot!

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  1. TOM says:

    They don't need just hitters, they need power hitters. I would try and trade Beckam for 1. The way the club is now I don't think the club cares if Jennings comes back at all. Maybe he could be trade bait.

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