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.