With the New York Mets front office and coaching staff conceding the 2012 season and focusing on the 2013 campaign, it's time to pay attention to the waiver wire.
Although the trade deadline has already passed, there are still ways for teams to make moves to shore up playoff runs (or in this case, to unload salary and get prospects in return).
Last week, the Mets put two of their veteran outfielders, Scott Hairston and Andres Torres, on waivers. Once put on waivers, they each could be claimed by another organization or they could pass through. If one of them is claimed, the Mets can either pull him back because they have no interest in negotiating with the team that claims him, or they could work out trades for players or cash, with their trading partner (unless stated otherwise) having to pay the given player's remaining salary.
Hairston, who was a potential trade candidate at the deadline, was a hot commodity when put on waivers due to his ability to hit left-handed pitching and provide power as a fourth outfielder or designated hitter. The right-hander is hitting .272 with 14 home runs, but against lefties, he's an incredible .320 with nine home runs.
Hairston was apparently claimed by an unknown team, but it is highly unlikely that he will be moved, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Part of how waivers work is that if multiple teams claim a player, the team with the worst record is the one that is awarded the claim.
In Hairston's case, the team that claimed him had no interest in actually trading for him; it simply claimed him to block another team for adding Hairston to its roster.
The move, which seems cheap, is genius move, however, because Hairston now can't be traded for a month, long after the date by which a player must be traded in order to qualify for a postseason roster.
Torres, on the other hand, is highly unlikely to be claimed. The outfielder has struggled mightily all year, hitting .230 with two home runs and 32 runs batted in.
With the clock ticking down on the season, don't expect the Mets to make any waiver moves. Hairston can't be moved, Torres won't be and there's no way they'll put David Wright up.