The July 31st MLB trade deadline isn't really the deadline to make trades. In fact, some of the biggest deals get done after the non-waiver trade deadline every year.
Starting August 1st, clubs can put players on "special waivers." Any player who will possibly be traded is put on waivers.
If a player is claimed, the club can choose to call him back without losing the player. If he is not claimed by his current team, he can be traded to any other team the rest of the season (though players acquired after August 31st are not eligible for their new team's postseason roster).
If multiple teams put in claims on a player, only one team has the priority waiver claim. Priority is given to the team with the lowest winning percentage in the same league.
Although the Detroit Tigers have made some key acquisitions to bolster their roster through waivers in the past—like Neifi Perez in 2006, Freddie Garcia in 2008, Aubrey Huff in 2009 and Delmon Young in 2011—the players that are available this season don't fit Detroit's needs.
Here is a list of notable players available:
— Dan Haren, P, Nationals
— Erik Bedard, P, Astros
— Matt Lindstrom, P, White Sox
— Brendan Ryan, SS, Mariners
— Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins
— Michael Young, IF, Phillies
— Barry Zito, P, Giants
— Adam Dunn, 1B/DH, White Sox
— Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies
There's been a slew of teams interested in Morneau, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays. Morneau is hitting .263 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI this season, but he's gotten hot since the beginning of August, batting .274 with six homers and 14 RBI in just 14 games.
Especially with the recent struggles of Prince Fielder and the emergence of Morneau in Minnesota, the Twins' slugger looks attractive, but he won't be making his way to Detroit.
Another player who has rumors swirling is Michael Young, who reportedly attracted interest from the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, among others. But with the acquisition of Jose Iglesias to shore up the shortstop position, the Tigers don't really have a need for Young.
Young has played 792 career games at short, 451 games at third base and 446 at second, so he has a lot of value, but the Tigers certainly don't need a third baseman. With a .273 average with eight home runs and 36 RBI this season, Detroit won't look to Young to replace Iglesias or Omar Infante.
The Tigers do have somewhat of a hole in left field with Andy Dirks and Matt Tuiasosopo platooning. But Dirks has a .242 average and Tuiasosopo is averaging .280, and the two have combined for 14 home runs and 54 RBI.
There isn't a productive-enough left fielder to warrant a move there, so it looks like the Tigers, who are 70-49 and six games up in the American League Central, are all set until the September call-ups.