After standing pat at the trading deadline, which surprised most, the Philadelphia Phillies looked poised to turn to the waiver wire as a way to unload some of their aging veteran talent. Currently, the team has placed just Jimmy Rollins and Michael Young on waivers.
While both have cleared, no one has yet claimed the two veteran players.
It is unlikely Rollins and Young will be the only ones to go on waivers, however. Carlos Ruiz, a free agent at the end of the season, could be another name that joins the list. Cliff Lee, whom the LA Dodgers actually claimed off of waivers last year before the Phillies pulled him back, might also find himself back out there just to test the waters.
But currently it is just Young and Rollins, so here is a look at some of the waiver wire rumors concerning these two players.
The No-Trade Clause Killer
It is no secret that the Phillies would love to unload both Young and Rollins, but unfortunately it isn't as easy as that. Sure, the team could release the two players, but then it would get nothing in return and would still be forced to pay salary. It wouldn't be so bad for the free agent Young, but Philadelphia just re-inked Rollins last offseason, and he still has one year guaranteed left on his deal.
So the only option the Phillies have is to trade the former MVP, All-Star and Gold Glove shortstop.
The only problem is that Rollins has said in so many words that he isn't going anywhere.
Back in July, Rollins told David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News that he has no intention of waiving his full no-trade clause, saying, "There are still a couple things I would like to be number one on the lists of in this organization, so until those things are done, I'm not going anywhere."
While people have questioned Rollins' apparent selfishness in making this decision, it doesn't change the fact that it is entirely within his rights to deny a trade. It doesn't matter what his reasons are—if Rollins wants to stay in Philly, he has the power to make that happen.
The same goes for Young, who seemed a surefire trade target back at the July trade deadline.
Young had suitors in the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but the state of his own no-trade clause was always in question. It was first reported that he was willing to waive to go to any contender, but as the deadline drew nearer, it seemed Young would only waive to go back to the Texas Rangers.
The status of Young's no-trade clause was never fully clear because at the last minute, it was reported by numerous sources that he had changed his mind and was willing to waive for Boston or New York (via MLB Trade Rumors).
But by that time, it seemed both teams have moved in another direction and maybe for the better. With Alex Rodriguez appealing his suspension, the Yankees no longer need a fill-in third baseman.
Boston perhaps still remains a possible destination for Young, and once again it is being reported by MLB Trade Rumors that he will waive to go to any contender.
Michael Young to the Atlanta Braves?
With New York no longer a suitor and Boston possibly uninterested as well, might Young end up with the Braves?
One writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution seems to think so. With Dan Uggla going to the 15-day disabled list for eye surgery and not expected back until September, Mark Bradley thinks the Braves and Young are a perfect match.
And he isn't wrong. Young gives the Braves a much better backup option than Paul Janish, who just got his first hit in 26 at-bats this season. Young also has postseason experience, has played second base for a significant number of innings, and is hitting well enough this season.
It wasn't the most expected destination for Young, but with how things are shaking out, this is certainly going to be one to watch.
Is There a Market for Jonathan Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz?
As of right now, there is no indication that either Papelbon or Ruiz will be moved at the waiver trade deadline. The Yankees did show interest in Ruiz according to Brian Cashman and MLB Trade Rumors, but the report says that Ruben Amaro told him Ruiz was unavailable.
Ruiz is going to be a free agent at the end of the season, but because of the recent catching situation, it looks more likely the Phillies will consider re-signing him.
Of course, the catching market will feature a pretty strong crop of guys and there are teams that could use Ruiz's defensive and game-calling abilities, but overall there seems to be no rush to move him. He hasn't even been placed on waivers.
The same goes for Papelbon. The only real suitor Papelbon had was the Detroit Tigers, but nothing materialized.
Papelbon is not having the best season, and his salary is astronomical. Even if the Phillies were to place him on waivers, which seems unlikely considering the state of their bullpen, it does not appear that any team wants to take on that kind of money for a closer.
The waiver deadline, in order for players to be eligible to be included on postseason rosters, is August 31. It will be interesting to follow the storylines of Rollins, Young, Ruiz, Papelbon and any other players the Phillies might put on the waivers.