When the New York Mets and Red Sox worked out a trade for left-handed reliever Billy Wagner earlier this week, Chris Carter, an outfielder-first baseman currently playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, became part of the deal as a player to be named headed to Boston, sources said. In preparation for the deal, the Red Sox placed Carter on waivers, with the intention of moving him on to the Mets.
But the Yankees, sources said, placed a claim on Carter -- perhaps to create some 40-man roster discomfort for the Red Sox. In order to complete the Wagner trade, the Red Sox are now pulling Carter back from waivers, and for the rest of the year they must carry him on their 40-man roster.
And Boston may struggle to squeeze bodies onto its 40-man roster in September. When Paul Byrd was a free agent, he informed teams that as a condition for signing him -- he since has signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox -- he wanted a guarantee that he would be added to the 40-man roster for the final month of the regular season.
If Boston has made that same concession, the Carter claim by the Yankees might have made that just a little more difficult.
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.