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MLB Waiver Wire 2015: Breaking Down Potential Post-Deadline Moves

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2015

San Diego Padres relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel throws in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, July 31, 2015, in Miami. The Padres defeated the Marlins 8-3 in eleven innings. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Big trades involving David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Cole Hamels were among the most noteworthy moves made prior to Friday's trade deadline, but it's not too late for teams to improve themselves or divest themselves of big names with the hope of getting better in the future.

It's just a more complicated process. Teams are still capable of making trades through August 31, but it's no longer as simple as one general manager calling up another and working up a viable trade. Instead, a team that wants to trade a player must make him available by putting him on waivers.

When that happens, any team may make a claim. However, the team that has the worst win-loss record is given priority among those that make claims.

So, if the Boston Red Sox put a player on waivers that the St. Louis Cardinals want to acquire, every other team in both leagues would have to pass on the Red Sox player because the Cardinals have the best record in the major leagues (as of Aug. 1).

Even if that happens, the Cardinals would have to make the Red Sox an attractive offer that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington likes. If not, the Boston player could be pulled off waivers.

Craig Kimbrel of the San Diego Padres was one of the bigger names discussed prior to the trade deadline, as reported by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman (h/t WFAN Sports Radio). Many thought the Padres would be among the busiest teams, but general manager A.J. Preller chose to hold onto Kimbrel, Tyson Ross and Justin Upton.

Publicly, Preller's reasons for holding onto his talented players were the Padres could not get the value they were looking for and the team was starting to play better baseball, according to Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press (h/t Yahoo Sports).

However, any hope the Padres have of getting involved in the playoff race as a contender in the NL West race or as a wild-card team could disappear in August. That may give Preller the impetus needed to make a move.

If it does, the hard-throwing Kimbrel would be a very attractive waiver pickup. Any contending team that needs a closer might want to go after him. He already has 30 saves this season, a 2.83 earned-run average and 57 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Kimbrel has saved at least 42 games in each of the four previous seasons.

Kimbrel is signed through the 2017 season and has a team option for the 2018 season, so he is a player who can help in the long run. That may allow Preller to extract a solid return from a potential trade partner.

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Red Sox traded Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Angels prior to the trade deadline, but they did not move slugger Mike Napoli. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, they wanted to move the first baseman.

Napoli has struggled most of the season, but he has shown signs of improving lately. He has a .210/.311/.394 slash line to go with 13 home runs and 39 RBI. Napoli has homered in two of his last three games through Friday night, and he has also proved himself in the postseason throughout his career with seven home runs and 26 RBI in 47 games.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were interested in pursuing Napoli, Boston manager John Farrell told Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe. Napoli will be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season.

The Chicago White Sox were one of the hottest teams in either league when they rolled to seven consecutive wins at the end of July, and that surge gave them the appearance of being contenders once the trade deadline rolled around.

However, they lost their last two games of the month to the Red Sox and New York Yankees and are currently 3.5 games behind in their pursuit of a wild-card spot.

It may be difficult for the White Sox to climb over a handful of teams to realistically gain such a position, and they may come to the conclusion that it's not going to happen in 2015.

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Jeff Samardzija is a 30-year-old starter who will be a free agent after the season. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark speculated the White Sox would move Samardzija (8-5 record, along with his 3.94 ERA and his 1.180 WHIP) prior to the hot streak, and if the White Sox fall further down the ladder, there will be no need to hold onto the pitcher.

General manager Rick Hahn may come to the conclusion his team is no longer in the race and will be willing to move him.

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