Rays' waiver claim on Livingston voided by MLB

Updated: December 15, 2006, 12:34 PM ET
By Keith Law | Scouts Inc.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays' claim and subsequent trade of left-handed pitcher Bobby Livingston was voided by the commissioner's office Thursday, and Livingston then was awarded to the Cincinnati Reds.

The Devil Rays have the highest waiver-claim priority this offseacon by virtue of their major-league worst 61-101 record, so under ordinary circumstances they will receive any player they claim off outright waivers until the next waiver period starts on the 31st day of the 2007 regular season.

However, because the Devil Rays immediately traded Livingston to the Phillies after claiming him from Seattle on Tuesday, they violated Major League Rule 10(h), which states "no Club shall solicit another Club, directly or indirectly, to claim or not claim a player on waivers ... nor shall a Club otherwise act in concert with any Club or Clubs in the operation of the waiver system."

The rule also gives the commissioner the authority to impose a penalty on clubs involved in such a violation, although no punishment has been announced in this instance.

Livingston, 24, was drafted by Seattle in 2001, during the second year of current Philadelphia GM Pat Gillick's tenure as the Mariners' GM. Livingston is now expected to compete for a job in the Reds' starting rotation, and he has two options remaining.

Livingston joins a small club of players whose career paths were altered by rules snafus, including left-handed pitcher Brian Anderson, who was tendered a contract by the California Angels with a pay cut that exceeded the maximum allowable cut of 20 percent; outfielder Reggie Jefferson, who was designated for assignment by the Reds rather than placed on the disabled list when he contracted pneumonia in June 1991; and Travis Lee, who became a free agent when the Minnesota Twins failed to send him a formal contract offer within fifteen days of the end of the draft.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.