Waivers currently function like outright waivers in MLB - once you cut a player, any other team can claim that player at 100% of their existing salary.
Hypothesis: an additional revocable waivers process would increase the number of balanced trades throughout leagues in a way that is beneficial for both contenders and rebuilding teams.
Owners may expose up to three (3) players per 30 days to a “revocable waivers” list. Players exposed to revocable waivers are highlighted on a separate screen but can still be active in the owner’s lineup until traded or claimed. The revocation period is 48 hours, during which the owner may “pull back” the player if they do not wish to trade or accept the full claim of the player (a release of 100% of their salary). If the owner pulls back the player, that player may not be traded elsewhere in the league for 30 days (similar to cut penalty timeline); they may still be cut the player after the 48 revocation period (same cut penalties apply).
When a player is placed on revocable waivers, an announcement is made to the league (similar to update your trade block). All owners in the league now have 24 hours to make one of two decisions:
- Claim to own
- Claim to trade
Claim to Own:
Claim to own functions exactly the same way waivers works today: if you claim the player and have first priority (based on standings), you are awarded the player and their full salary. You receive the player once the 24 hour period ends.
Claims to own will be processed before claims to trade.
Claim to Trade:
Claim to trade allows the claiming team(s) to qualify for an exclusive trade negotiating window of 48 hours. Only these claiming teams may trade for the player during the 48 revocation period; any team who does not claim to trade may not acquire the player during this window (they cannot make a trade offer for the player). A player cannot be cut during this period, but they can be pulled back by the owner.
Revocable Waivers Example:
Team A owns Mike Trout @ $80. In May Team A places Mike Trout on revocable waivers. No team “claims to own” (presumably because no team has the salary cap to take on the full $80 of salary).
- Five teams (B, C, D, E, F) “claim to trade” Mike Trout. For the next 48 hours, only these five teams may trade for Mike Trout (the six teams who did not make a claim cannot include Mike Trout in any trade offer during this window).
- Team A now has 48 hours from the claim to negotiate a trade with one of these five teams (B, C, D, E, F). Only Team A can see which teams claim to trade (hidden from rest of league), but the league is notified how many teams claim to trade.
- If none of the five teams make a compelling trade offer for Mike Trout, the owner can pull him off revocable waivers at any time during that 48 hours, but in doing so Team A will not be able to trade Mike Trout for another 30 days. If no trade is negotiated before the 48 hour expiration, Team A will also not be able to trade Mike Trout for 30 days. The 30 day penalty provides some incentive for Team A to negotiate a deal.
- Teams B, C, D, E, F now know they are the only teams with the opportunity to acquire Mike Trout in the next 30 days. Negotiating against few potential teams and knowing that Mike Trout will not be available for another 30 days if they do not make a compelling offer are incentives to make a strong offer for Team A to accept.
- High salary, quality players (like $80 Mike Trout) are more likely to be placed on revocable waivers each month.
- Revocable system improves frequency of and opportunity for better trades of quality players.
- Revocable system helps protect new, less experienced owners from trading away star players for limited returns, particularly early in the season if they decide to rebuild early.
- Improved trade negotiation skills and communication throughout the league.
- Simplifies the trade process for some owners when “interested” owners are more easily identified through the revocable system (those that claim)
- Rewards teams for thinking strategically and staying engaged
- Still allows for normal waivers process to occur, if needed
- Limited to three players per 30 days per team