Big-Name MLB Players Who Could Still Be Traded Before August 31
The trade deadline was quiet, but that doesn't mean the August waiver trading period has to be, too.
After all, it was just last year that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox consummated their famous/infamous mega-deal/salary dump involving Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.
Don't expect anything quite so, um, shockingly massive this time around, but odds are, we could see at least as much activity in August as we did in July—in part because there are plenty of leftovers from last month.
Maybe two sides will pick up where they left off on July 31, or perhaps an injury will befall a contender, or very possibly, the fallout from Biogenesis-related suspensions will create a hole in a lineup or rotation where before there was none.
August is when teams in the playoff hunt get desperate, and that desperation could lead to trades for some pretty big names, whether they're claimed by clubs or pass through waivers entirely. Like these.
Alex Rios, OF, Chicago White Sox
Rios' contract was the primary reason the 32-year-old wasn't traded before the deadline, as he's owed the rest of his $12.5 million salary this season and has that same amount coming to him next year (with a $13.5 million—or more likely, a $1 million buyout—for 2015).
Rios also injured his left foot after fouling a ball off it Tuesday—the day before the deadline, which didn't help—but he played the next day and appears healthy, as X-rays came back negative, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
Despite all that, the outfielder is still a good bet to move this month, as he's a productive, if flawed, player (.272/.323/.425) who can help strengthen a contender's lineup from the right side and play either corner spot.
To get a deal done, though, Chicago is going to have to pick up some of the tab, which may help bring a slightly better return for the rebuilding franchise.
Possible Fits: Rangers, Tigers, Pirates
Justin Morneau, 1B/DH, Minnesota Twins
At 32, Morneau is several seasons removed from the MVP candidate he was a half dozen years ago, but he can still do some damage with the bat.
Morneau doesn't possess the same over-the-fence power he once had (only nine homers), but he's on pace for 40 doubles, which would be the second-highest total of his career.
The other good news is that the first baseman, who battled injuries and concussion-related problems for multiple years, has been healthy all season to this point.
The financial factor won't be as daunting as it is with Rios, since Morneau is owed only the remainder of his $14 million this year before he becomes a free agent.
Possible Fits: Orioles, Yankees, Rangers, Pirates, Rays
Kyle Lohse, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Lohse, 34, has very quietly had another very solid campaign, sporting a 3.22 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in winning seven games for a lifeless Brewers club.
Milwaukee has him under contract for two more years at a very reasonable rate—$11 million per—but that's just the sort of thing that could make Lohse an intriguing waiver candidate, too.
While we may see plenty of lesser-known pitchers shuffle around this month, a quality starter like Lohse could actually net the badly-need-to-start-over Brewers a piece or two who could help them when they're on the way to getting good again in a couple of years.
By that point, of course, Lohse will be gone.
Possible Fits: Rangers, Dodgers, Braves, Indians, Diamondbacks
Michael Young, INF, Philadelphia Phillies
Young is making $16 million this year, but about $10 million of that is on the Rangers' tab, so the cost to any new team would be minimal. He's also a free-agent-to-be, so there's no financial commitment beyond 2013.
While Young, now 36, has been on the decline for the past few seasons, he's still a capable offensive player (.279/.343/.408) with the versatility to handle multiple infield positions.
Young's name was bandied about all day on July 31, so the fact that he's still a Phillie is more than a bit surprising, as Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine (subscription required) so neatly put it:
It makes no sense that Young wasn't traded before the deadline. Presumably, the Yankees will place a claim on him, and right now, they're in front of Texas and Boston in the claiming process.
Soon enough we'll find out if that scenario plays out.
Possible Fits: Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers
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