On Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that the Los Angeles Angels have placed newly acquired Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López, and Randal Grichuk on waivers, as well as Matt Moore and Hunter Renfroe.
All five players are set to hit free agency following the season and while all are eligible for qualifying offers, the recent acquisitions of Giolito, Lopez, and Grichuk would not warrant any draft compensation if signed by another club with the qualifying offer attached. Of note, neither Moore or Renfroe would be expected to receive a qualifying offer.
All five players will remain on the Angels active roster until claimed. Teams interested in claiming any of the five players will have to do so by Thursday for the player(s) to be eligible for the 2023 MLB Postseason. Under new rules across Major League Baseball, the players will no longer be part of a waiver-trade deadline, but instead can be acquired simply by taking on the players remaining contract for the season. The waiver claim order is based on MLB standings in reverse order.
Though teams at the bottom of the standings will have the first attempt at claiming the players, it is unlikely to see a team outside of the playoff race add to their payroll by claiming one of the players. It could be a boon for teams just on the outskirts of a wildcard spot or division lead, such as the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds, and Miami Marlins.
It is not uncommon for players to be placed on waivers during the final week of August, but seeing this multitude of players from one team with the bulk being recently acquired at the cost of prospects can be seen as uncommon. From a business perspective, the Angels added around $10.5 million to their 2023 payroll, and if all players are claimed they will save about $7.5 million in payroll for the remainder of the 2023 season.
According to FanGraphs, the Angels current payroll for 2023 is around 234.4 million, with the luxury tax threshold for Major League Baseball being $233 million, so even with one player being claimed, the Angels would fall below the luxury tax.
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, other players on waivers include Harrison Bader (Yankees), Carlos Carrasco (Mets), Mike Clevinger (White Sox), and José Cisnero (Tigers).