August 23, 1996 -
With John Wetteland closing games and the emergence of some guy named Mariano Rivera as his setup man, reliever Bob Wickman became expendable.
Looking to pick up a left-handed specialist for their bullpen, the Yankees packaged Wickman and OF Gerald Williams together, sending the duo to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for 2B Pat Listach, lefty reliever Graeme Lloyd and a player to be named later (P Ricky Bones).
A week later on August 30th, the Yankees would make another trade, this time acquiring 3B Charlie Hayes from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later—Chris Corn, a pitcher who was out of baseball less than three years later.
We know how this story ends—both Lloyd and Hayes became important additions for the Yankees down the stretch and in the playoffs.
The point of visiting 1996? Both trades were waiver trades, which brings us to today.
With the 2011 non-waiver trade deadline in the past, going through waivers is now the only way to acquire a player from another team.
Why are players placed on waivers?
Some have lucrative contracts with multiple years remaining, and their current teams are hoping someone will take that burden off of their hands. Often times, these players are not living up to their end of the deal.
Others are on the last year of their contract, and if their current team has no interest in re-signing them or doubts about their ability to do so, their thinking is simple—it's better to get something in return rather then let the player walk away at the end of the season with nothing to show for it.
As teams fall out of the playoff race, more and more players will become available.
After the jump, 10 players who will likely be placed on waivers and could be of interest to the Yankees, though I am not advocating that all of these players would be a good fit.
But before that, a quick rundown of how post-trade deadline waivers and waiver trades work.