As it has gotten deeper into August, the MLB playoff picture has begun to get a little bit more clear. There are a number of playoff contenders that still need a piece or two if they want to break through to the next level.
There is still the chance for a team to improve by making a wavier-wire trade. While many players go through waivers, only a few will be dealt.
Non-contending teams could look to deal some potential free agents in the hopes that they could get a decent return. A number of trade rumors are floating around, and they could eventually become waiver deals.
The Oakland Athletics have been a surprise playoff contender this year and have been able to overcome the fact that they have gotten virtually no production from the shortstop position. Oakland did not make a move at the trade deadline, and now it is running out of time.
Mike Aviles of the Boston Red Sox has cleared waivers, but a deal between the Red Sox and the A's does not seem likely (h/t Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle).
The reason that the two sides are struggling to come to a deal is because of the Red Sox's asking price. According to AJ Mass of ESPN (Insider required), the Red Sox want either Brett Anderson or Dan Straily for Aviles.
With David Ortiz due to come off the disabled list soon, the Boston Red Sox will be struggling to find a way to get their three catchers into the lineup (h/t Bob Finnan of ESPN). This means that a move could eventually happen.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway and Kelly Shoppach are all deserving of playing time, but there will not be room for them. Jason Catania of ESPN (Insider required) has speculated that Shoppach could be dealt now that he has cleared waivers.
For a good part of the season, the Cleveland Indians looked like they had a shot at challenging for the American League Central title. Things have changed quickly after the All-Star break, and they have begun to fall out of contention.
Paul Hoynes of The Plain-Dealer has suggested that the Indians change their direction a bit for the rest of the year and rid themselves of players like Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore. While Sizemore likely has almost no trade value, Hafner could bring back a decent prospect.
Alfonso Soriano has certainly had a tumultuous tenure with the Chicago Cubs, but he has turned things around a bit this season. The Cubs might try to capitalize on this and deal him while his value is up.
Chicago Sun-Times writer Gordon Wittenmyer has quoted Soriano as saying that there is a "50-50" chance that he will remain in Chicago this year. The Cubs will be happy to get whatever they can for Soriano if it means that they will no longer need to pay his exorbitant salary.
The Chicago White Sox are currently embroiled in a battle with the Detroit Tigers for first place in the American League Central. They have made a number of trades this year, but they may need to make another move or two to stay on top.
White Sox general manager Kenny Williams is actively looking for a waiver-wire deal that could make sure that the Sox are playing in October (h/t Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune). Finding a second baseman or a starting pitcher could be the move that the White Sox need to pull off.