Marlins outfielder Cody Ross, despite batting only .189 since July 1, is the center of some classic August intrigue.
A National League club has claimed Ross on waivers, but the Marlins are not sure whether that club actually wants Ross or simply claimed him to block him from going to another contending team, major-league sources say.
The Giants were awarded the claim, sources say, though that information could not be confirmed due to the confidentiality of the waiver process. The Braves, who long have had interest in Ross, did not get the claim. Neither did the Phillies, sources say.
If no deal is completed by Monday, the Marlins can dump Ross on the claiming team or pull him back from waivers.
Ross, 29, is owed slightly more than $1 million for the rest of the season, a sum that the Giants must be prepared to absorb if they are the claiming team. The Marlins are motivated to move him to create a spot for Cameron Maybin, their center fielder at Triple-A.
The Giants, meanwhile, might have been motivated to claim Ross in an attempt to prevent him from going to the team they trail in the NL West, the Padres.
Players pass through waivers in reverse order of the standings, starting with their present leagues. The Giants would have had a crack at Ross before the Padres.
The Padres suffered a blow Tuesday when center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. suffered a broken hamate bone in his right hand.
The Giants were in position to react to that news; Ross went on waivers that day.