Making Sneaky Waiver Requests

Being in a major league front office is all about being sneaky. If you can maximize the chances of keeping all of the players you like in the organization, you would do it. So, what is one way that GMs try to game the system? Well, one thing is this, in Article XIX, Section F of the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement:

[E]ach Friday, not later than 3 P.M. E.D.T., the Office of the Commissioner shall notify the Association, by facsimile transmission, of all waiver requests and their disposition.

So, the league office will send a fax (seriously? A fax?) to all of the teams informing them of the waiver requests from that week. To be sneaky, a team might place a waiver request for a player either right after receiving this fax, or on a Monday. Do note that there’s no functional difference between placing a claim on Friday after 3 or on a Monday morning, as no claims are processed after 2 pm on Friday through Monday, according to Major League Rule 10(c)(1)(A):

Notices received after 2:00p.m. on Friday shall be considered as received on Monday morning. Waiver requests shall not be accepted on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays as published by notice from the Commissioner’s Office. Such requests shall be deemed received the morning of the following business day.

47 hours later, the request would be cleared, and hopefully a few less-active teams would miss it, as it wouldn’t be listed as active on the weekly report, and a more passive team might just wait for that information in order to make a waiver claim. Saturdays and Sundays do count in Spring Training, so the terms of the sneakiness changes, but not the ability to be sneaky. In any case, there are various ways in which teams might game the system. This is one.

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