The August trade, which was instrumental in the Astros winning their first World Series in 2017, is on life support.
MLB and the Players Association are inching closer to agreeing to a series of changes — some for 2019, some for 2020 and all with the understanding that after this season begins the sides will continue to discuss economic issues that concern the union — that would include the abolition of the non-waiver period as soon as this season.
The negotiations are fluid, nothing is finalized and distrust still exists on both sides. But there is a sense of common ground and momentum that has created some optimism that what both sides see as win-win scenarios could be finalized in the coming days.
The most immediate impact would be — if this deal is completed — the elimination of August trades. The hope is that will lead to fewer teams continuing to sell off players and, thus, fewer clubs in a tanking mode over the final two months of the season.
Through July 31 teams do not need to pass players through waivers to complete a trade. But afterward they have. If the player was claimed, only the two teams involved could make a trade. If the player passed through waivers unclaimed, any team could still trade for him through Aug. 31.