Buster Olney is reporting that the Boston Red Sox, who recently lost the services of starting backstop Jason Varitek to a knee injury, are on the verge of completing a deal to acquire Javy Lopez, thus cornering the market on all active Javier Lopez'.
I bring this up because in order for Lopez to be traded, he had to pass through waivers first. Those waivers, which for the first part of the season are based on the previous years record, have flipped such that the White Sox had a chance to put a claim on Lopez before he was available to Boston. -- Related: Baseball Analysts posted an excellent resource on the complicated waiver process today.
Lopez likely passed through waivers because of his hefty $9M salary, which the White Sox could have been on the hook for a pro-rated portion of had the Orioles allowed him to pass through. Lopez wouldn't be a savior to the White Sox. In fact, Ozzie would have had a tough time penciling him into the lineup, assuming Konerko and Thome remain healthy.
Putting a claim on Lopez would have done two things for the White Sox:
- It would have prevented him any possibility of landing with the Red Sox, with whom the White Sox will be at least indirectly competing for a playoff spot.
- Had the Sox acquired him at a cost of about $3M for the remainder of the season, they not only would have prevented him from going to the Red Sox, but would have had the opportunity to pick up extra draft picks when he left as a free agent following the season.
There is a certain amount of luck required to make it through a full season healthy and into the playoffs. The two Beasts of the East don't need luck, they've got money.