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Yanks hold edge on waiver wire deals

OK I caved, I bought the ESPN Insider package because I think the blog will benefit in the short term, but I will not back off my pursuit of getting ESPN to stop making us pay for these rumors or stories that they used to post for free.

The rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees will play out even on the waiver wires. Because the Yankees have a worse record than Boston does, standing 3½ games out of first place, they are in a position to place a claim on any player before the Red Sox can take a shot at him.

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That means that so long as the Yankees are in second place, they can theoretically block the Red Sox from having a shot at landing any player that might interest Boston -- particularly pitchers.

If the Twins fall out of the race -- and Minnesota is free-falling -- and were open to the idea of dealing J.C. Romero, they almost certainly would have no chance at rekindling conversations with Boston. You would expect that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman -- who is historically very aggressive in making waiver claims -- would enter a claim on Romero.

If no team with a worse record than the Yankees made a claim on Romero, and the Yankees actually were awarded the claim, the Twins would have two options at that point. They could make a trade with the Yankees, or they could withdraw Romero from waivers, and not be permitted to deal Romero the rest of the season.

Eddie Guardado? The Red Sox would have no shot.

A.J. Burnett? If he didn't get claimed by a National League team, the Yankees would never let his waiver claim fall to the Red Sox.

Billy Wagner? No chance.

I'm not happy about being in second place, but there are many deals to be made in August and the Yanks have the upper hand against Boston in this very important front.