Although the trade deadline technically has passed, there are plenty of players who might still be moved on waivers. If you need a little bit of a refresher on how these types of transactions work, I would refer you over to an excellent article written by our own MLB Lead Writer Jason Martinez about how this entire mechanism works.
For our purposes, what you need to know is that the players who are most likely to be moved are the ones who have been having disappointing seasons and are saddled with large contracts. Other players might move, but this is generally a good rule of thumb.
With that thought in mind, here are five players who very well could be popular discussion topics as the month of August moves on.
I was surprised that Michael Young was not traded before the July trade deadline. Buster Olney of ESPN (subscription required) was pretty surprised as well.
The Philadelphia Phillies are in the midst of a downward spiral that doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and Young is really not a piece of the future.
However, for a team that is in contention right now, he can certainly provide some value. He is currently hitting .274 with eight home runs. Obviously, it is not elite production, but he can be a productive part of a lineup.
Even before the July deadline was over, Buster Olney was speculating that Kevin Gregg might not be on the move until sometime in August.
The 35-year-old right-hander is having his best season since 2010, and it is no secret that bullpen pitchers are in high demand this summer. He has saved 22 games with a 2.98 ERA for a team that really hasn’t given him an awful lot of save opportunities.
He has been a serviceable closer for six of the last seven years, so I have to imagine that there will be some demand for his services as the push for the postseason gets even stronger for contenders.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today mentioned the possibility of Morneau's availability on Twitter, and I have to admit that I would be surprised to see it actually happen.
Justin Morneau is always rumored to be on the move because of his gigantic contract and limited production over the past few seasons. This year, he is only hitting .265 with nine home runs. He used to be an elite run producer, but he only has 55 RBI this year.
Given his potential, it is possible that some teams might want to gamble on the fact that a change of scenery could help him out, but I think this one is somewhat surprising because it keeps coming up every year without results.
I mentioned a little while ago that relief pitchers are in high demand. However, left-handed relief pitchers are even rarer, and Mike Gonzalez has been a high-quality one for a long time.
He has been a left-handed specialist for the Milwaukee Brewers this season. Over 39.1 innings, he has a 3.89 ERA and 47 strikeouts.
Although it is not absolutely certain yet, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports that Gonzalez has already been put on waivers, so I would expect a trade in the very near future. The Brewers are out of it, and his value will never be higher.
According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, no one is really off the table for the Toronto Blue Jays. Obviously, they are not obligated to make a trade because the players are on revocable waivers, but like Davidi mentioned, they are at least now in a position to evaluate the market.
Josh Johnson might be an ideal target in this type of situation. He is having an incredibly difficult year at 1-8 with a 6.60 ERA. Toronto does not seem to be working out very well for him. However, even with this inflated season, his career ERA is still 3.42.
There must be teams that would want to take a chance that the 29-year-old will be able to return to his previous form. I have not heard his name explicitly mentioned yet, but Toronto is open to trading, and Johnson is the type of guy who could command a decent return value.
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