The Reds have claimed left-hander Bobby Livingston off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. No big deal there, except the Devil Rays claimed Livingston off waivers from the Mariners earlier this week and flipped him to the Phillies for cash.
How did this happen? Well, MLB nullified the previous waiver claim and trade, with no reason given. Apparently the powers that be felt the Phillies were circumventing the waiver process, which is prioritized by record, by cutting a prearraged deal with the Rays and sending Tampa cash for its part.
Cloak and dagger stuff right there.
By the way, Livingston has been added to the 40-man roster.
Livingston is a 23 year old left handed starter who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2001 draft by Seattle. Guy had fairly solid numbers until he made it to AAA, and his K/9 ratio fell to an alarming 4.59 in 135.1 innings at AAA Tacoma this past season. Baseball Prospectus 2006 had this to say about him:
Who to believe, the stats or the scouts? The stats say Livingston has put up great K/BB ratios throughout his minor league career, and looks on track to hit the majors soon. The scouts say he's a soft tossing lefty who may struggle at the highest level. The numbers hint at that possibility too, as Livingston's peripheral's eroded a bit at Tacoma, culminating in a playoff game debacle in which he yielded five homers. Lefty control pitchers are said to have a better chance at success than righties of the same stripe, and the Mariners have one of the archetypes in Jamie Moyer. There are enough candidates for the back of the rotation that they can take a patient approach with Livingston.
It looks to me based on his 2006 that the scouts were right this go round. I just can't see the need for giving this guy a 40 man spot.