MLB Teams That Blew It at the 2014 Waiver Trade Deadline
There were no blockbusters in August.
Instead, the 2014 MLB waiver trade deadline was almost completely quiet. From the New York Yankees front office failing to add another bat to Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. doing next to nothing at all, the theme of the waiver season was inactivity.
For both the contenders and the rebuilders, that lack of business could prove to be a major mistake.
New York Yankees
Improbably, the New York Yankees are still in the wild-card chase.
While the injury-riddled starting staff has been doing its job, the club's lineup has continued to sputter along. Grabbing a power hitter off the waiver wire would have made all sorts of sense for New York. The left-handed hitting Adam Dunn, who would have fit in perfectly with the 314-foot porch in right field, would have been a decent option.
However, Dunn was snagged by the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a minor league pitcher, as the team announced via its Twitter account. Instead of going after Dunn, the Yankees settled for inking Chris Young to a minor league deal. The outfielder, who was discarded by the New York Mets at the beginning of August, hit .205 and piled up more strikeouts (54) than hits (52).
Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. didn't do anything before the July 31 trade deadline. In August, the Phillies executive didn't do much of anything, either.
That inactivity is puzzling considering that the team is in desperate need of a significant rebuild—especially since the Phillies have veterans on the roster who could be valuable to contenders. One such player is starter A.J. Burnett. The right-hander was a target of the Los Angeles Angels, but those talks fell through, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Jonathan Papelbon would have also been a perfect player to move. However, as one AL team official explained via Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Phillies front office isn't making things easy: “The Phillies are just unreasonable in their demands."
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers still have plenty of work to do if the team is going to hold off the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
Swinging a trade or two is one way of increasing those chances, as GM Ned Colletti explained via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com: "Adding a player in July and August to a contending team sends a message into the room that we appreciate what they've done and we're all on the same page to make us as good as we can get."
Colletti did acquire Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia, but it's difficult to argue that either of those moves sent much of a message. The club's bullpen has been consistently poor throughout the season, and bringing in a dominant arm would have been a logical addition.
Like the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Detroit Tigers are a contending club with serious bullpen issues. Detroit's group of relievers has posted the third-worst ERA in all of baseball.
It hasn't helped that Joakim Soria, who the team added back in July, is out with a strained oblique for an indefinite amount of time, per Jason Beck of MLB.com. The Tigers also struck out on the waiver wire. The team put in a claim on Chad Qualls of the Houston Astros, but the sides were unable to reach an agreement, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Note: All stats courtesy of MLB.com.
If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!