Most baseball fans are vaguely familiar with Major League Baseball's waiver system.  It's not a consistent system, with several waiver periods throughout the year.  The most publicized waiver period takes place around the month of August, when teams can make trades via waivers.  The waiver order is determined in two ways during that time period.  The order is based on the current season's standings, although priority is given to the leagues, which means that if an American league team waives a player, that player would have to pass through every AL team before any National League team could claim him.

Because the August waiver period is so publicized, it leads to the belief that this is how waivers work all of the time.  That's not the case.  MLB has three waiver periods, and the period...

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