The Giants traded for Jose Guillen on August 13, 2010 and thought their right field woes had been solved as they made their playoff push. Guillen was 34 years old but having a decent season (102 OPS+) with the Royals at the time of the trade and had cleared revocable waivers earlier that August.
Still, he was old and had been bad the previous few seasons, so he was almost too perfect of a pickup for the Giants. The Padres were still 3.5 games ahead for the division lead and they needed a source of cheap power to keep pace. As Grant wrote:
It’s insane for a team to think they can glean any sort of insight off of RBI alone. But I think the Giants are doing it. I don’t have proof. Sabean might be laughing about this post right now with the Giants’ in-house sabermatrician. But it’s the only explanation I can think of for why a team would want Jose Guillen. Heck, the Royals didn’t want him. Paid him to leave. Said, nope, not worth it. And somehow he can come to another team – one trying for the playoffs, no less – and start? It’s bizarre unless you pretend that RBI are useful indicators of anything when they’re completely stripped of context.
Then the Marlins placed their right fielder on waivers and the Giants put in a claim to block the Padres from bolstering their lineup to create separation. That would’ve been on or around August 21st. Players remain on waivers for only 48 hours.
When a team places a player on waivers and the player is claimed, the waiving team can 1) pull the player back from waivers 2) work out a trade with the claiming team or 3) transfer the rights and salary to the claiming team without a negotiation. The Marlins being the Marlins chose option three and purged Ross’ approximately $4.45 million salary.
A free Cody Ross helps. If the Giants want to focus on shoring up the shortstop position in the offseason, they don’t have to worry so much about filling the outfield first because, hey, free Cody Ross. I think there’s a chance that the Giants can back into an okay offense next season.
Also, this is an experiment to see if I can jinx an entire season. Check back after 2011 to see if the Giants have won a World Series yet. If not, you can blame it allllllll on this post.
So, he did, in fact, jinx the 2011 season. Please send your complaints to Grant Brisbee.
In the meantime, the Giants got a slightly better right fielder for the rest of the 2010 season and found themselves extremely fortunate to have received Ross by mistake and basically for free because Jose Guillen faced an inquiry from MLB over HGH use just as the season wound down. The Giants left him off the playoff roster and started Cody Ross and got these moments instead:
So, the August waiver process can work out for a team. You might’ve read that the Giants placed Andrew McCutchen on revocable trade waivers this week. That was, supposedly, on Monday, which means he’d be due to clear them today and the Giants would be free to trade him to any team.
Or, a team has put in a claim on him and the Giants are considering those three options above. It’s unlikely they’ll pull him back and not trade him — they need at least the salary relief to make sure they don’t cross the CBT threshold, so option #3 is at least a possibility. And then there’s this rumor from yesterday:
With trade rumors swirling, take this for what it's worth: #SFGiants expected to keep outfielder Andrew McCutchen out of Wednesday's lineup, person familiar with situation tells The Athletic.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 22, 2018
I’m very certain the lineup will be posted as soon as I publish this post, but for now, there’s no lineup out to verify or disprove this “person familiar with the situation”. Now, that could mean the Giants are close to working out a trade or they’re preemptively sitting him in case a team puts in a claim at the eleventh hour and the Giants simply want to dump McCutchen’s salary (and there will be a separate post once there’s a move), but in any case...
August claims can make a team’s whole season. Andrew McCutchen can be a life changer. Thanks for the memories, Cody Ross.