MLB’s waiver rules are complicated enough for fans and those who cover baseball on a regular basis, but apparently they can even confuse teams sometimes. Check out this story from Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News about how the Rangers were forced to put right-hander Ben Rowen on release waivers yesterday:
The Rangers said an obscure sub-section in MLB’s waiver rules would not allow Rowen to go onto outright waivers, as the club intended. The combination of a spring-training biceps-tendinitis injury, which carried over in the start of the minor-league season, and time with the Rangers prohibited Rowen from being outrighted until March.
Still confused? Don’t feel bad. Rowen can now be claimed by another team, but he’d have to be added to the major league roster. His waivers expire on Tuesday, after which he’d become a free agent. He’d be able to sign with anyone at that point, but he could end up returning to the Rangers anyway.
Rowen, a 26-year-old sidearmer, allowed four runs in 8 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks over eight appearances with the Rangers this past season. He had a 3.45 ERA and 31/9 K/BB ratio over 47 relief innings in Triple-A.