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Dombrowski: Waiver trade deadline remains challenging

Rob Bradford
August 21, 2018 - 12:55 pm

Back in 2009, the Red Sox needed some late-inning certainty from their bullpen. So on Aug. 25, they dealt for Mets closer Billy Wagner. 

The good news for the Sox back then was that two of their chief competitors at the time, the Yankees and Angels, had better records than Boston, not allowing a potential claim (or block) of Wagner before he got to the Red Sox.

No such luck this time around.

The Red Sox are dead last in the waiver order thanks to their gaudy record. What that means is that if an American League player is sent through waivers, all other A.L. teams would get a chance to claim the trade candidate before the Sox got a crack at him. If it is a National League player the Red Sox' opportunity to make a claim would come after every team in baseball. And, in case you didn't know, up until the end of the month a player isn't eligible to be traded until they pass through waivers.

(For a complete understanding of the August waiver/trade process, click here.)

So, with 11 days remaining until the deadline the Red Sox still haven't made a move to make a Wagner-like acquisition. Oakland, on the other hand, managed to upgrade its bullpen with the August acquisition of Fernando Rodney. The A's carried the fourth-best record in American League at the time.

But contrary to popular opinion, Dave Dombrowski isn't necessarily citing his team's place in the waiver wire order as his biggest challenge. According to the president of baseball operations, it's just business as usual for this time of year.

"About the same," Dombrowski texted when asked if this month has been more challenging than prior waiver trade deadlines. "It is always a challenge at this time of year."

Dombrowski did make an August trade a year ago, making a deal with Oakland for outfielder Rajai Davis on Aug. 23.