It’s not all that surprising that Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew passed through the entire NL and got through to the Athletics on waivers, leading to his trade to Oakland on Monday night.
Drew not only is owed nearly $2 million for the rest of the season, but also was batting only .193 with a .601 OPS in 155 plate appearances after missing nearly a year due to a fractured right ankle.
Players go through waivers in reverse order of the standings, starting with their own league first. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels were the only AL contenders trailing the Athletics when Drew hit waivers on Saturday.
Neither the Tigers nor Angels deemed it necessary to risk a hit of almost $2 million on a player who might not make that much of a difference for the Athletics, anyway. The A’s picked up all of Drew’s remaining money: about $3.3M, including $1.35M buyout on $10M mutual option.
The D-backs were willing to part with Drew when they’re only five games back in the NL West. Willie Bloomquist is their preference at shortstop, and the team might have traded Drew to the A’s before the July 31 non-waiver deadline if not for concerns about Bloomquist’s back.
Bloomquist went on the DL with lower back stiffness on Aug. 11, but is expected to return Friday, according to MLB.com.
— Ken Rosenthal