Reds, Blue Jays add to potential playoff rosters with waiver claims ahead of eligibility deadline

Written by on August 28, 2021

It’s to be determined if either the Cincinnati Reds (currently the National League’s second wild card) or the Toronto Blue Jays (5 ½ games back in the American League wild card race) will make the playoffs, but both teams added to their potential postseason rosters on Friday with waivers claims. The Reds obtained veteran infielder Asdrúbal Cabrera from the Arizona Diamondbacks while the Blue Jays added outfielder Jarrod Dyson from the Kansas City Royals.

Of the two, Cabrera is more likely to make a regular-season contribution. He’s hit .244/.324/.392 (93 OPS+) in 90 games this season while taking most of his defensive reps at either second or third base. Dyson, for his part, could be a nifty situational weapon come the postseason, when managers can leverage his top-notch speed and defense and hide his less desirable bat. (For reference, he’s hit .221/.256/.311, marks good for a 54 OPS+, in 77 games this season.)

Since Major League Baseball moved to a single trade deadline in 2019, contenders have had to get creative to improve their rosters afterward. Claiming veterans off waivers, as the Reds and Blue Jays did, is one such way.

The Cabrera and Dyson acquisitions have the added benefit of taking place ahead of MLB‘s September 1 deadline for postseason eligibility. Most players gain eligibility by virtue of being on the active roster or the injured list at that point, but there is another pathway onto the postseason roster. As explains:

A player who doesn’t meet said criteria for postseason eligibility can still be added to a team’s roster in the postseason via petition to the Commissioner’s Office if the player was in the organization on Aug. 31 and is replacing someone who is on the injured list and has served the minimum amount of time required for activation. (For example, a player on the 10-day injured list who has been on it for at least 10 days, or a player who has been on the 60-day injured list for at least 60 days.) Players who are acquired in September or after are ineligible.

It’s worth noting that roster expansion also occurs on September 1, with teams having the opportunity to bring up two additional players for the season’s final weeks.

Current track