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Waiver tire: Mets' Carter had to wait and wait last year

Chris Carter was in waiver wire limbo last

Chris Carter was in waiver wire limbo last year before ultimately getting traded to the Mets for Billy Wagner. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A year ago, Mets outfielder Chris Carter was stuck in a sort of waiver limbo - or waiver hell, if you prefer - all because of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

On Aug. 25, 2009, the Red Sox agreed to trade Carter and another player to the Mets for Billy Wagner. Because the deal was consummated after the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline, Carter - who was at Triple-A Pawtucket - had to pass through waivers.

The Yankees put in a waiver claim on Carter. Not because they wanted him, according to reports, but just to make Boston pull him back. That created a slight 40-man roster problem for the Red Sox at a time when they were trying to sign pitcher Paul Byrd.

The move left Carter in no man's land. "Seven days had passed, and [manager] Ron Johnson called me in his office and said, 'Hey, you probably know why you're not playing,' " Carter said Sunday. " 'You were in the Billy Wagner deal. You were put through waivers but you didn't clear waivers. What would you like to do? You're kind of in a weird spot.' I said, 'Put me in and play me.' So he let me play the last week and a half."

Luckily for Carter, he did not get injured. But he lost a chance to be called up by the Mets in September.

Carter had to wait until the major-league regular season ended Oct. 4 before he could become Mets property. And then he had to wait one more day because the Twins and Tigers ended up tied for the AL Central crown and had to play a play-in game, which is considered part of the regular season.

And then he had to wait one more day, because the Twins' stadium was being used Oct. 5 for a Vikings-Packers game. The baseball game was played on Oct. 6. On Oct. 7, Carter finally was traded to the Mets.

Carter said he only "vaguely" understood the waiver rule. Now, he said, "I have a good idea because a lot of people explained it to me."

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