When the Red Sox acquired Paul Byrd from Cleveland on Aug. 12, filling a major hole in their starting rotation, a lot of us wondered why the Yankees hadn't put in a claim on him, either to trade for him themselves or at least to block him from going to the Red Sox.
Now that Byrd is 4-1 with a 3.82 ERA in five Boston starts, and now that the Yankees have fallen into fourth place, the question seems even more relevant.
But here's a piece of information that we didn't know on Aug. 12: The Red Sox didn't claim Byrd, either.
According to major-league sources, Byrd actually cleared waivers in the first few days of August. No team put in a claim, so the Indians were free to trade him to anyone.
At the time Byrd hit the waiver wire, the Red Sox rotation wasn't nearly the mess it would become a week later. At that time, there was no real thought that the Sox would be trying to deal for a starting pitcher, and thus there was much less reason for the Yankees to put in a blocking claim.
Also, the Yankees hadn't yet lost Joba Chamberlain to injury. Their need for a starting pitcher wasn't nearly as great.
Perhaps the Yankees could have topped Boston's Aug. 12 offer and traded for Byrd then. But by then, they couldn't have blocked the deal with a waiver claim.