Since Deck McGuire was designated for assignment last Thursday, the Blue Jays had designated two other pitchers for assignment in Sergio Santos and Brad Mills (the player McGuire was DFAed for). Both Mills and Santos were placed on outright waivers, and both eventually passed through without being claimed. But we hadn't heard anything about the status of Deck McGuire, so naturally the speculation was that there was some minor trade interest in the former 11th-overall pick. And apparently there was.
The Oakland Athletics--but not the Blue Jays because of course--announced that their club has sent money to the cash-strapped Blue Jays for the rights to McGuire and that the 25-year-old will be reporting to triple-A Sacramento where he will join Kenny Wilson (Marcus Walden is currently in double-A for the A's). Today at 2 pm was the deadline for the Blue Jays to place McGuire on waivers (DFA rules gives a club 10 days to assign a player, but outright waivers take 48 hours to clear, so a player must be placed on waivers by the 8th day), so it appears that the trade squeaked through at the last minute.
The #Athletics have acquired RHP Deck McGuire from Toronto for cash considerations. McGuire will be optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) July 25, 2014
Despite the fact that McGuire is already 25 and had spent parts of four seasons in double-A, the pedigree of being a first-round draft pick (and Alex Anthopoulos's first ever pick) as well as his two remaining options beyond 2014 meant that there was little chance that he would get through waivers. Since waivers claims go to the claimant with the worst record, the 63-38 Athletics would not likely have been able to pick him up that way. The amount of cash sent to Toronto has yet to be disclosed, but one can only assume that, in order to get dibs on McGuire, the A's would have had to pay a premium on the the $20,000 the Blue Jays would've gotten on an outright waiver claim.
In retrospect, we can second-guess Anthopoulos's decision concerning McGuire. Not his choice to DFA McGuire instead of Santos in the Mills waiver claim, as in that case someone--probably McGuire--would've had to come off the roster along with Mills for Aaron Sanchez and Esmil Rogers anyway, but his choice in the offseason to add McGuire to the 40-man roster in the first place. If Anthopoulos had done that McGuire would've been exposed to the Rule 5 draft and may have been claimed, but did anyone think that he would've been good enough for a major league team to justify using up a spot on their 25-man roster for the whole season?
Good luck to Deck on his new adventures (he'll need it in the Pacific Coast League) in the Oakland system.