Revocable Waivers for Ottoneu

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.

Revocable Waivers:
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:

  1. Claim to own
  2. 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.

Expected Benefits:

  • 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

[for discussion]


What would be the reasoning for NOT claiming to trade any player? You’re under no obligation to trade or negotiate to trade that player right? But if you block a trade that player can’t be dealt for 30 days?

What would be the benefit for me NOT to claim to win anyone I could afford? accomplishes the same as above.

Would a team be able to claim a player on waivers as both Own and Trade? It seems like I (as the team putting “Trout” on waivers) would nearly always want teams to Claim to Trade. But if the Claim to Own processes first I’d be forced to release or pull back without knowing/exploring the trade claims?

as an owner i would only use this as a last resort… i would make it clear i am trading Trout . i would email everyone , post it on the message board, etc

there would have to be a huge incentive for me to give up the flexibility of just using the normal trade mechanism … the waiver method would lock me in for 30 days

having said that… this is just another tool that can or can’t not be used …so not sure what the harm would be of having it


I think the main incentive would be adding another mechanism that increases league-wide activity, communication and participation.


Trey whats the end goal here?

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I like this. Only gap i see so far is that every team is incented to trade claim for every player. Since there is no penalty for trade claiming, an owner can trade claim for every player and then deal in bad faith. Crappy for sure and it’s a repeat game so there will be some penalty. But since the trade claim teams are incognito it actually delays teams from figuring out who the bad faith dealers are. At a minimum, i suggest that the names of the trade claim teams be exposed. This way teams that claim everyone are seen for what they’re doing.

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Why have the “revocable” part? Why not simply say that any player who is cut and isn’t claimed or traded will still be released from the roster with a 1/2 cap penalty, as they are now? I don’t see the need to “revoke” a player you cut if you can’t work out a deal, although I do like the general idea and goal of informing/increasing the likelihood of a better trading market.

To decrease the chance of unnecessary “Claims to Trade”, why not say that any team which places a Claim to Trade on a player who does not get outright claimed or traded within the 48 hr deadline then shares an equal piece of the player’s cap penalty?

So in the example of an $80 Mike Trout… if there are no “Claims to Own” and Team A can’t make a trade with 5 other teams, then (say) all six teams would have an $8 Mike Trout cap hit (or his normal $40 cost divided by 6 teams). Or say that the owning team would have half, or $20, on the books while the five other teams had $4. Mike Trout would still have a $40 Free Agent price and Team A still has the 30-day bid moratorium, but Team’s B-F would still be like the rest of the league and could auction/bid on Trout (and be relieved of his penalty hit) at any time.

This way there would still be a cost to cutting a player (or keep it non-revocable) as well as a cost to placing a claim-to-trade without the intent of working out a deal.