What's the point of waivers anyway?

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Buster Olney asked a general manager why we have the complicated waiver-trade system between July 31st and August 31st. I had kind of been wondering that myself recently, so I was happy to see the question asked!  Then I read the answer . . .

He paused before answering. “You know, I never thought about it like
that,” he said. “I guess we have it because that’s the way we’ve always
done it. But I can’t give you a good reason. You know, that’s a really good question. Probably just because that’s the way we’ve always done things.”

I’m going to go research why we have the waiver system now. But if a current GM doesn’t know why, I’m not sure I’ll be satisfied with any answers I come up with.

Mets claim Sam Coonrod off waivers from Phillies

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — The active New York Mets added another newcomer to their bullpen mix when they claimed reliever Sam Coonrod off waivers from the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies.

Coonrod had a 7.82 ERA in 12 appearances covering 12 2/3 innings last year for the National League champions. The right-hander is 7-5 with a 5.27 ERA and five saves in 105 games over four major league seasons with San Francisco and Philadelphia. He has struck out 95 and walked 44 in 97 1/3 innings.

The 30-year-old Coonrod was designated for assignment by the Phillies last week when they signed free agent infielder Josh Harrison.

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Khalil Lee was designated for assignment by the Mets.