Yahoo! Sports has announced today that Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee was placed on August waivers. August waivers in the MLB can be confusing, I am going to try my best to explain it.
Teams usually place several players on waivers come August. Opposing teams are allowed to claim a player, but the team has the option of pulling him back and either make a trade with the claiming team, or just let them have him. If Lee does clear waivers, that will make him eligible for a trade.
Cliff Lee's situation is very different. While Lee is a top-notch ace, he is still owed approximately $95 million. It is HIGHLY unlikely that a team would claim that type of contract. Again, if a team does claim him, the Phillies have the option to take him back and try to develop a trade, if not the claiming team eats the contract.
Hope that helped. The trade deadline in MLB is something I will never understand, no matter how many times you explain it to me. More to come...