A couple items of note in regards to the Phillies players that have been placed on waivers. This is not something to overreact to, but shows the options (or lack thereof) the Phillies have in making some August deals.
First, Cole Hamels has been claimed on waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
Sources: Hamels claimed on revocable trade waivers by unidentified club. #Phillies have 48 hours to work out a trade or pull him back.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 6, 2014
Hamels is not likely to be traded at this point. Because there is only one team who he could be traded to, the Phillies cannot compare potential deals. Nothing short of the Los Angeles Dodgers (if they were awarded the claim) offering their top three prospects in outfielder Joc Pederson, infielder Corey Seager or pitcher Julio Urias would be enough to get this done. However, the Dodgers have said they are not willing to deal any of three.
The Phillies could simply give a player claimed to the claiming team, but the Phillies are not interested in clearing Hamels' money.
Additionally, outfielder Marlon Byrd was claimed on waivers, too, reports Rosenthal; additionally Jonathan Papelbon cleared:
#Phillies’ Byrd also claimed on revocable trade waivers by an unidentified club. Papelbon cleared waivers; has limited no-trade protection.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 6, 2014
Byrd could be a bit more interesting. If the claiming team has something to offer, a deal could be done. While the Phillies could clear the money 100% here by giving Byrd to the claiming team, they are not likely to give him away.
The Phillies could trade Byrd in the offseason if they so choose. A one-year contract with a vesting option may be easier to move than a two-year contract and vesting option, particularly if the Phillies are willing to eat money.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon can now be traded to any team, if someone is willing to take him on. If Papelbon had been claimed, they would have had to think seriously about letting the claiming team have him. Now any deal with Papelbon would be about how much money the Phillies are willing to eat. The more they eat, the better shot of a prospect.
Like Byrd, the Phillies might have an easier time trading Papelbon later on when his contract is not so burdensome. Papelbon has one year left and a vesting option that is likely to vest if Papelbon remains healthy. Papelbon will use his no-trade clause to make sure that he is a closer on the new team, because his contract will vest that additional year based on the number of games he finishes.
In 2008 the Phillies were able to add to their team in August. Outfielder/pinch hitter Matt Stairs cleared waivers and was traded to the Phillies, as was left-handed reliever Scott Eyre. Both played key roles for the Phillies' World Championship team. Contending clubs may look to make similiar moves of their own, perhaps some of them on the Phillies.