How does this exactly work? In baseball
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Teams will still make trades in August but will need to put the players on waivers first. Teams then have 24 hours to claim a player. If more than one team places a claim, the team with the worst record is awarded the player. At any time during the 24 hours the team that has placed the player on waivers has the ability to withdraw the name. This is the Revocable Waiver Period. It lasts from Aug1 to Aug 31. In Sept, if a team places a player on the waiver list, That player is Gone and if not claimed can declare to be a free agent.
If a player is claimed, The team that claims him has a short period (I can't remember the length) to construct a trade and to sign the player. If no one claims the player then that player is eligible to be traded. The originating team however, does not have to trade the player. Some teams will use the waiver wires to see who might be available and who might want to work a trade.
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A little more detailed synopsis
# Teams have to pass players through revocable waivers to trade them after the July 31st deadline.
# Players acquired after August 31st can't play in the postseason.
# Teams will often put most of their players on waivers to determine interest, since they don't have to give up every player who's claimed.
# Unclaimed players can be traded to any club in August.
# Claimed players can be kept, traded or handed over to the claiming team (who would then pay the player's salary).
# If only one team claims a player, he can only be dealt to that team.
# If more than one team claims a player, he can only be traded to the team in his league with the worst record.
# If a player's only claimed by teams in the other league, he can only be dealt to the team with the worst record.