When we think of the MLB trade deadline, we always think of July 31st.
However, the waiver-wire trade deadline is actually August 31st.
Contenders will have another week to add that final piece for the final month of the season.
Players must be on a team’s roster by September 1st to be eligible for the playoffs.
Here are five players that could be available before the waiver-wire deadline.
Josh Willingham has the raw power that a contender needs to add a jolt to its lineup.
He’s hit 22 HR for an Oakland A’s team that has struggled.
A team looking to add a power bat off the bench or as part of a platoon may give Billy Beane a call concerning Willingham.
He could be a good find this late in the year.
Jim Thome is fresh off becoming the eighth member of the 600 HR club.
Not many teams would say no to an experienced left-handed power bat off the bench that can also provide leadership.
He’ll likely be available, since the Minnesota Twins won’t be factoring him into any long-term plans.
Thome’s still got it after 21 seasons, but has yet to win a World Series. (The Indians made the World Series in 1995 and 1997, but lost to the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins, respectively).
The Cubs might be finally willing to part ways with Carlos Zambrano.
He's had a mediocre year at 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA. He also hasn't really pitched in a meaningful September game in quite a while.
A team in need of starting pitching would have to overlook his volatile personality to see the talent that's still left in the tank. That same team would also have to eat a chunk of Zambrano's huge salary.
Maybe a change of scenery will help get him on the right track.
Alfonso Soriano once had 40 HR/40 SB potential.
However, in the latter stages of his career, Soriano has been relegated to just an occasionally powerful bat.
His power remains, but his defense in the outfield is definitely suspect.
But he could be a valuable addition for a contender looking to add his bat to the bench or in a platoon role.
It looked almost certain that the San Diego Padres would deal Heath Bell at the July trade deadline.
However, it was Mike Adams and not Bell that was sent packing.
Bell would be a great pick up to bolster the back of a contender’s bullpen.
He would likely accept a setup role as well in order to pitch in meaningful games.