MLB Waiver Wire 2018: Breaking Down Potential Post-Deadline Moves

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2018

Marcus Stroman could be a waiver-wire trade target.
Marcus Stroman could be a waiver-wire trade target.Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline closed Tuesday afternoon, but teams still have the opportunity to make waiver-wire deals through the end of August.

This is a complex process, but if deals are made by September 1, those players will be eligible to compete in the postseason. If a player clears the waiver wire, his team is free to negotiate around the league. If he's claimed, the team can either discuss a deal with that team or renounce the player's rights. 

While teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies were busy prior to the trade deadline, the Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies and Oakland A's did not complete major trades prior to the deadline.

The Indians are leading the AL Central and will likely have to compete with the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and Yankees if they are going to represent the American League in the World Series. The Indians can turn to the waiver wire if they are going to make deals.

The A's are in contention for an AL wild-card spot, while the Rockies have their eyes set on a National League playoff spot.

Big-name players have been involved in waiver deals. That includes Justin Verlander, who was traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Houston Astros last August.

The Toronto Blue Jays did not move pitcher Marcus Stroman prior to the non-waiver deadline, but his name had been mentioned in discussions, according to MLB Network insider Jon Morosi

Teams that decide they need starting pitching for the final stretch of the season will almost certainly give the Blue Jays a call because Stroman is better than his 4-7 record and 5.20 earned run average indicates. Stroman has a 41-32 career record and a 3.81 ERA.

Stroman has had shoulder problems in the past, but that does not appear to be an issue right now.

The New York Mets did not trade any of their big-name pitchers, and that was somewhat of a surprise since the team has struggled badly this season. Instead of dealing ace pitchers Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, it held onto them because it believes those pitchers can help turn the team around in 2019.

Will the Mets continue to think that way throughout the month of August? If there is any change in that thought process, they can engineer a waiver-wire deal involving one or more of those hurlers.

Former Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was mentioned prominently in the final days of July because he has pitched better with the Cincinnati Reds than he did when his tenure with the Mets came to an end.

Harvey was rumored to be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman, but there was no deal. He would seem to be an ideal waiver-wire trade candidate. Harvey is 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA since coming to the Reds and has a 1.192 WHIP.

Andrew McCutchen of the San Francisco Giants was also prominently mentioned prior to the deadline. With the Giants falling further in the NL West since the All-Star break, the former Pittsburgh Pirate could find himself on the move in the coming month.

McCutchen has a .253/.348/.405 slash line and can be a game-changer at the plate. 

The Baltimore Orioles traded Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and Zach Britton prior to the trade deadline, but they did not move veteran center fielder Adam Jones.

Jones reportedly rejected an opportunity to go to Philadelphia, according to Heyman. However, Jones could change his mind at some point in August, and he could be a valuable addition to a contending team that needs a hitter who can make a difference.