The August waiver trading period, coincidentally like August itself, is almost over. The Mets have engaged in the process at least once in 2010 putting catcher Rod Barajas on waivers where he was claimed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Some reports state that the Mets received “cash considerations” for Barajas while others suggest he was simply claimed and not withdrawn from these revocable waivers implying the cash consideration was in fact that the Mets would now not have to pay Barajas the remainder of his 2010 salary (according to Cot’s Contracts Barajas’ 2010 contract called for a base salary of $500,000 plus a $400,000 roster bonus and $1 million in non-specified incentives).
While it’s unclear exactly how official it is MLBTR has a list of players who have cleared waivers and thus may be traded (as they note barring a no-trade clause). According to their list one Met, Carlos Beltran, has cleared waivers. Beltran has a full no-trade clause.
Due to the fact that it is murky at best regarding who exactly has been waived or not and who has cleared or not the following is a hypothetical exercise. Nonetheless on this off day for the 4th place 62-62 Mets we shall take a look at some players the Mets might consider parting with this month.
- Oliver Perez – Well yes of course they would be willing to part with him but no one is going to claim him or trade for him. Prediction: Released during spring training 2011 after continued inefficiency.
- Luis Castillo – Like Perez the Mets would love to part with Castillo but no one will take on his salary through claim or trade. Prediction: Mets trade him for a non-prospect during spring training 2011 to a team that loses a starting 2B to serious injury.
- Carlos Beltran – Per MLBTR has cleared waivers but has that nasty no-trade clause. He might consider waiving it under circumstances appealing to him. There is at least one published report suggesting that a writer who covers the Red Sox thinks they should consider trading for him so there’s that. Prediction: Finishes his contract (through 2011) with the Mets.
- Jeff Francoeur – Has been a woefully unproductive baseball player for years now and the promise of his youth grows more distant with every ferocious hack-and-miss. The Mets finally acquiesced to his lack of production and benched him only to have both he and his agent whine about his not starting every day and request a trade. The Mets would likely be happy to oblige him if only someone wanted him. Francoeur has 1 year of arbitration remaining but can be non-tendered in the off season. Prediction: Finishes this season with the Mets then is non-tendered and brings his frustrating game to the Kansas City Royals or Japan in 2011.
- Pedro Feliciano – Perhaps the only real August waiver period asset the Mets have. The Chicago White Sox are contending in the American League and have had some recent bullpen issues he might be of use there. It is precisely the kind of move one could envision White Sox GM Kenny Williams making but seems out of character for Omar Minaya who is more likely to bestow Feliciano with a rich multi-year deal than trade him now. Feliciano is eligible for free agency after 2010 and per Adam Rubin via MLBTR the Mets and Feliciano have “agreed to wait until after the season to hold contract talks.” According to MLBTR’s latest Elias Rankings Projections Feliciano projects to be a Type B free agent and thus would be a good candidate for the Mets to offer arbitration to this winter. Should he accept it the Mets would have him in the fold at market rate for another season, should he reject it and enter free agency the Mets would receive a compensatory draft pick if he signed elsewhere. To help understand how the Mets might value Feliciano it should be noted that Rod Barajas also is currently projected as a Type B free agent but how relevant the comparison is due to the different positions they play is debatable. Prediction: Mets sign Feliciano to a multi-year contract during the off season.
Overall prediction for the August waiver period: for the Mets the action has already occurred with the Barajas move, they will be silent on the trade front until the off season. What are your predictions for the rest of the waiver period?