The month of August is usually a quiet time around baseball circles. The trade deadline has passed, and the push for the postseason is in high gear. While the trade deadline has passed, that does not prevent further trades from going down. Trades taking place in August are not unheard of, although they certainly come with a fair amount of restrictions. For starters, any big-league player must first go through revocable waivers.
In the event that a player gets claimed via waivers, then his team is presented with three options: They can let him go with no strings attached; they can work out a trade with the claiming team; or they can revoke the player off of waivers, no questions asked. In the event of a trade, the two teams have 48.5 hours to work out a deal for the player in question. Teams that are still looking for a postseason push can only make trades up until August 31, as any player acquired after that date is ineligible for postseason play.
Now that we’ve made it past the little “How To Trade in August” primer, there seems to be some activity in the early days of August. It appears that the New York Mets are one team that is dangling a potentially valuable piece in front of the rest of the league. In a recent piece, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News is reporting that the team has placed five players on revocable waivers — one of them being catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
This news doesn’t come as a shock, given that teams normally put the majority of their rosters on revocable waivers to garner interest. But it is interesting to note, given that d’Arnaud’s name was heavily speculated in a possible package during trade talks for Jonathan Lucroy. Obviously, nothing developed from those talks, but this move brings into question the Mets future plans for him. Do they plan to keep him, or just cut ties?
D’Arnaud, 27, was originally drafted in the first round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in a package for future Hall of Famer Roy Halladay in 2009. Three years later, d’Arnaud was dealt to the Mets in a package for R.A. Dickey. For his career, the right-handed hitter owns a .244/.307/.402 batting line. He has hit 29 home runs in 250 games and has driven home 98 runs. In his rookie season in 2014, d’Arnaud hit .242/.302/.416 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs in 108 games.
He looked to be breaking out last season, before suffering an injury that forced him to miss nearly 100 games. d’Arnaud finished his abbreviated season hitting .268/.340/.485 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in only 67 games. Mets fans were hopeful for him to continue that this season, but it hasn’t happened. To this point, d’Arnaud has only played in 44 games, hitting .239/.283/.329 with 3 homers and 11 RBIs.
Clearly, d’Arnaud won’t be setting the league ablaze with his incredible offensive skill. However, if he can remain healthy, he has shown that he’s got some skill in that bat of his. He’d definitely be of use to a contender looking for a late-season push, whether it be as a starter or a piece off the bench. The staying healthy part has always been a big if with him, though. Over the past two seasons, he has missed the equivalent of a full 162-game season. When you add in the 54 games he missed during the 2014 season, that brings his grand total to a whopping 216 games missed in his last three seasons — an average of 72 per year.
While there’s no guarantee that anything will come of this news, it’s important to remember that August trades are not uncommon. Perhaps the most notable August deal came back in 2012, when the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox worked out a monumental deal that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto out west. It was a large deal that had to go through many hoops, but it shows that any trade can happen in August — no matter the size.