Claiming any of the following players will be hazardous to one’s payroll.
Let’s have a look at American League players who’ll get through waivers for one reason or another.
Mark Teixeira, 1B—New York Yankees
If Teixeira’s contract were due to expire in the near future, someone would claim him and the Yankees wouldn’t let him go. If he was claimed now, they still wouldn’t let him go, but they’d at least briefly consider it. He’s owed $22.5 million annually through 2016 when he’ll be 36. He’s going nowhere.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B—New York Yankees
Yeah. You claim A-Rod. You’ll have A-Rod at 37 with $104 million coming to him from 2013 through 2017.
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B—Boston Red Sox
His numbers are down, he’s owed $127 million through 2018 and he’s becoming the great player whose teams always miss the playoffs.
Carl Crawford, LF—Boston Red Sox
Yah. A-Rod has a better chance of being claimed.
Josh Beckett, RHP—Boston Red Sox
There would undoubtedly be factions in the Red Sox front office that would vote to let him go if he was claimed. Now he’s day-to-day with back spasms which, along with his poor pitching and not-so-charming personality, make him even more toxic with $31.5 million owed to him in 2013-2014. He also has 10 and 5 rights to block any deal but I think he’d love to get out of Boston by any means necessary.
Brandon Lyon, RHP—Toronto Blue Jays
He’s owed $5.5 million for 2012.
Adam Lind, 1B—Toronto Blue Jays
No one claimed him in June when the Blue Jays had to get him through waivers to send him to the minors earlier in the season; he’s hit better since he was recalled, but with $7 million guaranteed next season, he won’t be claimed especially since he’s not on the disabled list with a back injury.
Yunel Escobar, SS—Toronto Blue Jays
Add the Blue Jays to the Braves as teams that the talented Escobar has aggravated to the point that they want to be rid of him. His contract pays him $10 million in 2013-2014 and he has an option for 2015. He’ll get through and might be traded.
Alexei Ramirez, SS—Chicago White Sox
His hitting numbers have taken a nosedive and he’s owed $27.5 million through 2015.
Travis Hafner, DH—Cleveland Indians
He’s got a limited no-trade clause and presumably the team that claims him will be responsible for his $2.75 million buyout, but someone might claim him and hope that he can stay healthy for the last two months of the season (he’s sidelined with a sore back now) and perhaps provide some DH pop.
Casey Kotchman, 1B—Cleveland Indians
As a defensive replacement, there’d be a team to take him.
Joe Mauer, C—Minnesota Twins
He’s getting $23 million annually through 2018. If anyone claimed him, the Twins would pull him back; doubtful anyone will.
Justin Morneau, 1B—Minnesota Twins
With $14 million owed to him for 2013 and that he’s hit better recently, a team might claim him and the Twins would pull him back. If they trade him, it will be in the winter.
Carl Pavano, RHP—Minnesota Twins
No one’s claiming him, but if he proves himself healthy by the end of the month, he’ll be traded.
Jeremy Guthrie, RHP—Kansas City Royals
He’s a free agent at the end of the year and a contender (or a team that thinks they’re a contender—see the Red Sox of Boston or Blue Jays of Toronto) could use him for the stretch.
Jeff Francoeur, RF—Kansas City Royals
He’s owed $6.75 million for 2013. By the time his career is over, Frenchy might’ve played for 12-15 teams. That’s where his career is headed and it’s a major fall from being a Sports Illustrated coverboy and pegged a future megastar.
Bruce Chen, LHP—Kansas City Royals
He’s got a contract for $4.5 million for 2012, but eats innings and can be effective. He’ll get through and will be in decent demand via trade.
Roy Oswalt, RHP—Texas Rangers
Oswalt refused to pitch a third inning of relief on Sunday even though manager Ron Washington asked him to. He’s been mostly bad and is now causing a problem. For a small-town, “humble” guy, he’s doing a great impression of Terrell Owens. The Rangers will keep him around in case they need him, but no one will claim him.
Michael Young, INF/DH—Texas Rangers
As much as he’s respected, the final year of his contract on 2013 pays him $16 million and he’s been bad this season. If he’s claimed, the Rangers would be willing to let him go. He’s got 10 and 5 rights and won’t waive them.
Coco Crisp, OF—Oakland Athletics
The A’s have plenty of outfielders and Crisp is owed $8 million for 2013.
Vernon Wells, OF—Los Angeles Angels
His contract—$42 million for 2013-2014—is toxic.
Dan Haren, RHP—Los Angeles Angels
Haren has a $15.5 million club option and a $3.5 million buyout; he’s having back problems and has been mediocre all season.
Ervin Santana, RHP—Los Angeles Angels
He’s been bad, has a $13 million option that won’t be exercised and a $1 million buyout.
Chone Figgins, INF/OF—Seattle Mariners
Figgins has $8 million guaranteed next season and has batted under .200 in each of the past two seasons. You claim it, you got it.