As we've discussed several times, trades are not completely impossible following the recognized trade deadline of July 31 in Major League Baseball, they just become a little more complicated.
On Tuesday, after the Texas Rangers had placed several veteran stars on revocable waivers, relief pitcher Neal Cotts was claimed, meaning the Rangers could have just let him go to that claiming team for nothing in return, which in Cotts' case wouldn't have made sense. They could have also pulled him back off waivers and kept him for the remainder of the season, or they could worked out a trade in 48 hours with the claiming team.
On Thursday afternoon, it was reported by ESPN's Jim Bowden that the Rangers pulled Cotts back off waivers, meaning he'll remain with the club for the rest of the season before becoming a free agent this winter. The Rangers and Cotts have already expressed interest in reuniting next season in free agency.
Bowden suggested the team that placed a claim on Cotts was an AL Central club, and one that was simply claiming him to prevent a competitor from having access to him. According to Rangers czar Jamey Newberg, the waiver priority order among AL Central contenders went like so: Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City.
It would seem fair to assume the claim was either put in by Cleveland or Detroit, in order to prevent the Royals from going after him, as Kansas City is the hot team in the division and has taken over the division lead from Detroit.
So there you go, Cotts is a Ranger for the rest of the season, and possibly beyond depending on what happens this season. His year hasn't gone as well as 2013 did, but he's turned things around lately and has pitched well. His season ERA now stands at 3.48.