With Andruw Jones only days away from gaining trade veto power, the All-Star center fielder was claimed on waivers by an unnamed team, leaving the Braves until 1 p.m. ET Saturday to decide whether to take their last opportunity to deal Jones unfettered.
That Jones was placed on waivers is unremarkable; he was one of hundreds of players, including many stars, who were placed on waivers earlier this week. What makes Jones' situation interesting is that on Aug. 15, he will gain 10-and-5 rights -- 10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team -- to block any proposed trade.
Multiple teams placed claims on Jones, according to major-league sources. But on Thursday afternoon, one team was awarded a claim on Jones. Now the Braves have two choices -- either work out a trade with the team who placed the claim by Saturday or pull Jones back from waivers. If they pull him back, they cannot trade him again for the rest of this season.
Jones' value in the trade market is relatively high right now, because he is a highly productive player locked up for only one more year -- at $13.5 million -- at a time when players like Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee might command $70 million packages on the free-agent market.
The Boston Red Sox tried to deal for Jones leading up to the trade deadline, with some intent to try to flip him to the Houston Astros for Roy Oswalt. Some scouts also think that the Los Angeles Angels, who've been looking for a bat, might have high interest in Jones.
Atlanta GM John Schuerholz, reached on his cell phone, said Friday afternoon that he would not comment on the team's internal business.
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.