According to Ed Price of Fanhouse, Chad Gaudin was placed on waivers last night. Price further tweets that the waivers are outright waivers, making them irrevocable and meaning the Yankees cannot pull Gaudin back if another team claims him.
This leaves Gaudin with a few potential fates: he gets claimed by another team who assumes the entirety of his $2.95M salary; he clears and the Yankees outright him to the minors, remaining responsible for his contract; if Gaudin, has been outrighted before, he has the option to refuse the assignment and forfeit all but 25% of his contract; or he clears and the Yankees release him outright, owing him 25% of his contract.
Gaudin is a capable pitcher, so I'm assuming someone will claim him. FanGraphs' fan projections for 2010 have Gaudin at 0.8 WAR, which would be worth $3.6M on the open market. He's averaged 1.5 WAR over the last three seasons, good for approximately $6.75M on the open market. By those standards, he's a worthwhile pitcher at $2.95M.
Much like yesterday's return of Jamie Hoffmann, I'm a little bit surprised and somewhat disappointed by this move. Gaudin was essentially competing with Sergio Mitre for the longman/sixth or seventh starter position on the roster. While Mitre has been the better pitcher this spring, Gaudin is younger, has the better track record, has been effective in the AL in the past, and has shown himself to be serviceable both out of the pen and at the back of the rotation. Every available projection system predicts Gaudin as the better pitcher this year. Perhaps their salaries figured into this decision; or perhaps this move is a precursor to a rumored trade to secure Hoffmann's rights.
The recent transactions with Hoffmann and Gaudin leave the Yankees with two open spots on their 40 man roster.