We've officially reached the post-trade deadline hangover stage. It wasn't as exciting as we had hoped, but fortunately, trades can still be made.
Things are quiet at the moment, however. Teams will take a breath, regroup and start putting a plan in place for the August waiver period.
The plan usually starts with a team placing players on revocable waivers with the purpose of either possibly trading them later in the month if they pass through waivers unclaimed, pulling them back off of waivers if claimed or working out a deal with the team awarded the claim.
August Trade Candidates
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweeted that Marlins third baseman Placido Polanco, Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and Brewers reliever Mike Gonzalez (pictured) were among those already put on waivers. You can bet that Polanco, who is just not very productive anymore, and Cabrera, whose value had taken a steep decline even before a recent knee injury landed him on the disabled list, will go unclaimed.
Gonzalez, on the other hand, has value as a left-hander with late-inning experience, a solid strikeout rate (47 K in 39.1 IP) and a reasonable salary (due less than $1 million for remainder of season). The Indians, Reds and Cardinals could all have interest.
As for some bigger names, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca speculates on 10 who could switch teams this month.
Because of their massive contracts, Phillies pitchers Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon could clear waivers and be shopped. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. didn't appear motivated to move them last month with his team nowhere near playoff contention, however, so it's unclear if he has any reason to move them in August.
The Red Sox are one of the few teams who have the prospects and the payroll space to acquire either player. But since they already acquired Jake Peavy, Lee makes little sense. And with Koji Uehara (15.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, BB, 21 K, 5 Sv in July) thriving in the closer's role, adding a closer is probably not a priority.
Royals Still Looking to Add
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore, despite making just one minor acquisition (outfielder Justin Maxwell) at the trade deadline, says he'll continue to for ways to improve his ballclub, according to Dick Kaegel of MLB.com.
Their biggest need might be at second base, which is why they'd been mentioned in rumors with just about every second baseman who might be available.
While it's difficult to see Chase Utley, Howie Kendrick or Gordon Beckham getting through waivers, it's a good possibility that Rickie Weeks (pictured) of the Brewers goes unclaimed.
There is risk because of his $11 million salary in 2014 and his extended slumps over the past two seasons, but the Royals could catch lightning in a bottle with Weeks, who hit .355 with five homers in June and also finished strong in 2012 after a terrible start.
NL East Teams Searching for Bench Help
While they couldn't find a match before the deadline, the Braves will continue to try and add a left-handed bat for the bench and a backup infielder, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
One player who could fill both voids would be Luis Valbuena (pictured), if the Cubs were to make him available. Mark Kotsay of the Padres and Greg Dobbs of the Marlins could fit the need for a left-handed bat off the bench.
Another NL East team, the Washington Nationals, are also looking around for bench help, according to Bill Ladson on MLB.com. Although they're 11.5 out in the division, they're still within striking distance of a wild-card spot (6.5 games back). President of baseball operations Mike Rizzo thinks they have the talent on their 25-man roster to be a very good team down the stretch.
Rookie second baseman Anthony Rendon is struggling with only seven hits in his last 57 at-bats. The Nats could send him back to the minors and give Stephen Lombardozzi more playing time, which is where a backup infielder would be a fit. Scott Hairston is also just 2-for-18 since being acquired from the Cubs a few weeks back.
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