The Los Angeles Angels are waiving the white flag.
They placed starting pitcher Lucas Giolito, relievers Matt Moore and Reynaldo López, and outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk on waivers Tuesday, ESPN's Jeff Passan reports. Those players join a group that includes former New York Yankees OF Harrison Bader, Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco and White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger, who were likewise placed on waivers Tuesday, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
The Angels acquired Giolito, López and Grichuk at the trade deadline in an effort to make a playoff push. Since then, they've sunk to 63-69, well out of the AL West and wild-card races. They also lost Shohei Ohtani as a pitcher after the two-way star sustained a torn UCL last week. These transactions arrive ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline for teams to acquire players who would be eligible for the postseason.
Angels' playoff push fails; will Ohtani walk?
The transactions acknowledge the failure of a high-stakes trade-deadline push with the short-term goal of making the postseason and the bigger-picture goal of enticing Ohtani to remain with the Angels rather than leaving in free agency this offseason. The alternative would've been to trade Ohtani at the deadline for what likely would've been a substantial haul. The Angels rolled the dice in an effort to keep him and now run the risk of seeing him leave in free agency anyway.
The situation is further complicated for both parties by the revelation that Ohtani has sustained the second UCL tear of his career. A decision on whether he undergoes a second Tommy John surgery remains in the balance. Whatever Ohtani decides, the injury will impact what was anticipated to be the most lucrative free agency in baseball history.
Where will the waived players land?
For the Angels, the transactions add up to a savings of roughly $7 million, prorated for the players' collective $43.8 million in salary this season, per ESPN's Kiley McDaniel. The players will hit the market with weeks left in the regular season, which concludes Oct. 1.
Teams looking to upgrade their rosters for the postseason or to make a playoff push now have an unanticipated opportunity to acquire MLB-level talent beyond the Aug. 1 trade deadline. The San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants project to be among the potential suitors.
Waiver priority is determined by the reverse order of winning percentage based on Thursday's standings. Priority isn't reset with each claim, meaning the team with the highest priority that makes multiple claims could end up with several or all of the players on waivers.