The 2011 MLB trade deadline has come and gone, but both you and I know that it's not the end of the road for teams looking to make the playoffs. Yes, they can no longer grab stars from teams, but there are still players on the waiver wire they can acquire.
There are a good deal of players available to playoff-bound teams until August 31, including a few somewhat big names who can be moved due to their contract and lackluster performance.
There aren't any gamebreakers, but there are players that can be plugged into the end of a starting lineup or rotation to keep the team moving if needed. Here are ten players that could be moved during the month of August after clearing waivers.
Before finally hitting home run number 600 last night, I saw his name floating around a bit on the waiver wire. There are a couple teams who could use a power bat infused in their lineup, such as his old team, the Cleveland Indians.
After acquiring this milestone though, I don't see the Twins shipping him out. Trading other players is a much greater possibility, such as Delmon Young, who was sent over to the Detroit Tigers. Besides, I'm sure Thome is at the point in his career where he's done moving around.
Chris Capuano seems to be back in a career groove after missing a couple seasons. His numbers aren't too good, 9-11/4.58/116, but they are tolerable enough that a team in need of a fifth starter big time can survive with him.
A change of scenery might be good for him, and the Arizona Diamondbacks would be a good fit now that Jason Marquis is out. He's not going to be a game-changer in the NL, but he could at least hold down that number five rotation spot.
Another veteran who's been around the block, Johnny Damon can infuse some veteran leadership into some upstart teams making a playoff push. He's having a solid year with Tampa Bay, hitting .261 with 10 home runs.
The Yankees have been rumored as a destination for him, but I don't see that happening since Posada's been bouncing back. He turned down a trade to Boston last year, but his no-trade clause is gone; if a team comes out of the woodwork and requests him, then he's going there.
Not only did Soriano clear waivers, but the Cubs are willing to eat up most of his contract. The big question is, of course, would any team want an overpaid player who's good for 20 home runs but not much else?
Actually, at least one fellow B/R writer noted that Soriano to the Cleveland Indians is a possibility, since they could use some power-hitting outfield/DH depth. He seems open to moving on if needed, so don't be shocked if Soriano is elsewhere in September.
This is a tricky situation. Everyone thought he was going to be traded at the deadline, but he wasn't. Even though his strikeouts are down, he's still having a very good year, so wouldn't someone grab him off waivers?
I'm not sure if I see him surviving waivers, but even if I did, no one in the playoff hunt really needs a closer. The Cardinals needed one a few months back, but that has since been remedied. I honestly don't know why I see his name pop up in waiver wire posts; there's zero chance he leaves the Padres in 2011 now.
Wandy Rodriguez seems to be the most movable piece of a bad Astros' pitching rotation right now. He has a 3.50 ERA and a near .500 record, which is good for Houston. He also has a sizable contract, making him hard to move.
Despite the contract, he is likely to go on waivers, and he seems to be the most tradeable player on the list due to his solid pitching ability. The Diamondbacks could snag him, and while the Yankees' interest in him has cooled, that's a longshot possibility as well.
There's also the chance that a team could claim him off waivers, playoff-bound or not, so the Astros may have to tread carefully here.
Unlike players such as Carlos Lee, who could provide DH help but have contracts too massive to move, Carlos Penahas a far more movable contract. The 3TO player should have another 25 home run season with little difficulty, so he could help a team in that regard.
The Pittsburgh Pirates passed on him in July but may acquire him as a final attempt to get back in the NL Central race, although they seem about out of it now. The Cubs seem interested in keeping him, but who knows what teams could pop out to grab a power bat?
The Detroit Tigers grabbed a hard luck pitcher from Seattle in Doug Fister, and teams could do the same for Jason Vargas, who did clear waivers. He has an ERA around 4, and while he doesn't dominate his opposition, he pitches well enough to keep teams not named the Mariners in games.
As I've noted with previous starters, teams looking for a fourth or fifth pitcher could grab him, and he actually may be the best bet of those I've listed for the Diamondbacks. The Boston Red Sox are a possibility as well if they've lost confidence in their back end.
One thing that sets Ted Lilly apart from some of the other pitchers here is a very good strikeout-to-walk ratio, around 3.5/1. His ERA is up, but when you keep playing the Phillies and Diamondbacks, that'll happen.
A possible trade here is a cross-town move to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who could use a fifth starter. Though having your worst ERA since 2005 may make it impossible for the Dodgers to move him, especially at his price.
Now, let's get to a very likely waiver wire move. Matsui has a low salary this year, is starting to hit very well for the A's (.319 in August), and he could fit on any number of teams looking for a veteran presence.
The Indians are a possibility to add some depth in the outfield, and there was even talk about a return to the Yankees, though I'm not seeing anywhere where there's serious consideration. Some in the Athletics' organization want to keep him around, but a playoff team may make them a compelling offer.