Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline may have passed on Monday, but there’s still bound to be a solid amount of activity during the month of August as teams make deals by utilizing the revocable trade waiver process. Some of baseball’s most memorable trades happen in August; last year’s highly-scrutinized deal that sent Clayton Kershaw’s beloved personal catcher, A.J. Ellis, to the Phillies in exchange for eventual playoff hero Carlos Ruiz comes to mind as a very recent example. Here are 15 players who could be involved in trades this August:
Brandon Phillips, 2B, Braves — Phillips is having a sneaky-good season, slashing .292/.335/.436 with eight homers while playing solid defense at second base. But with the Braves calling up 20-year-old Ozzie Albies on Tuesday and handing him the starting job at second, Phillips isn’t likely to see much action in Atlanta going forward. Because he’s a free agent at the end of the season and there’s not a great need for second basemen around the league, he’ll likely clear waivers. He could be an intriguing option off the bench for a contender that is looking to add a veteran capable of delivering in high-pressure situations.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Marlins — Stanton, 27, is still guaranteed $295 million from the 13-year, $325 million deal (with a club option for 2028) that he signed before the 2015 season. When you also consider that Stanton likely won’t be moved until Jeffrey Loria sells the team, his contract could sink teams with already-high payrolls due to the luxury tax rules in the new CBA, and that he possesses a full no-trade clause, it seems unlikely that a deal will get done before the end of the 2017 season. But his unique contract situation should make a waiver deal doable, so even if teams that aren’t in the playoff hunt like the Giants, Cardinals, Angels, and Phillies are looking to add an imposing middle-of-the-lineup presence for future seasons, this could be the perfect time to pull off a trade for Stanton.
Justin Verlander, RHP, Tigers — After bouncing back and nearly winning the AL Cy Young award last season, the 34-year-old Verlander has struggled in 2017, posting a 4.29 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. The biggest issue with him is that he’s still owed $56 million over the next two seasons with a $22 million option for 2020. With that said, he’s still rather adept at eating innings, and he’s a proven postseason performer. That could make him a perfect fit for a team like the Astros that could use another proven starter and can afford to take on payroll. Verlander has already cleared waivers, meaning he’s eligible to be dealt to any club.
Nick Hundley, C, Giants — Teams always seem to end up needing additional depth behind the plate in August and September as catchers begin to wilt during the dog days of summer. While Hundley, 33, isn’t a spectacular defender, he’s one of the league’s better offensive backup catchers, having posted a .262/.284/.446 slash line with five homers in 178 plate appearances this season, and he’s a free agent at the end of the year. There aren’t really any logical landing spots for him right now, but as injuries occur, he may be the best catcher available on the market.
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Padres — Chacin, 29, has had a surprisingly solid campaign after signing a one-year, $1.75 million contract with San Diego during the offseason. In 22 starts, he’s posted a 3.99 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, and he’s very hot at the moment, having posted a 2.02 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over his last six starts. While another member of the Padres rotation, Trevor Cahill, generated more interest before the deadline and got dealt to the Royals, Chacin could be a guy to keep an eye on if teams like the Astros, Red Sox, Nationals, or Mariners need emergency rotation help in August.
Marco Estrada, RHP, Blue Jays — Estrada, 34, is another veteran who could be of interest to teams that end up needing rotation depth down the stretch, especially if he starts to improve in August after a miserable stretch in June and July. He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and he should come relatively cheap since he has a 5.19 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 22 starts this season. If there’s one thing that Estrada has proven, though, it’s that he’s a great postseason performer. In six playoff starts for Toronto over the past two seasons, he’s posted a 2.16 ERA and 0.74 WHIP.
Zach Duke, LHP, Cardinals — Duke, 34, is a free agent at the end of the season, and he’s redundant on a Cardinals team that has four lefties in its bullpen. With St. Louis’ postseason chances growing slimmer by the day and Duke’s chances of returning to the Cardinals next year being very low, they’ll probably be willing to move him for whatever they can get. He’s unscored upon in two of three appearances since his return from Tommy John surgery, and his deceptive sidearm delivery could make him attractive to a contender looking for additional bullpen depth.
Yusmeiro Petit, RHP, Angels — Petit is one of the more under-appreciated pitchers in baseball, having posted a 3.62 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 141 games (23 starts) since his return to the major leagues following a three-year layoff in 2012. He’s been especially good this year, possessing a 2.52 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over 37 appearances, including one start. Even though he’s a rental, he may now be pitching well enough that he’ll get claimed if the Angels try to pass him through waivers, but even so, it may be smart for them to get whatever they can for him by working out a deal with the team that claims him.
Bud Norris, RHP, Angels — Much like Petit, Norris is having one of the best seasons of his career as part of the Angels’ bullpen. The 32-year-old former starter took over as the Angels’ closer in late April and has a 3.89 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP with 16 saves in 44 appearances this year. He’s not going to supplant any closers on contending teams, but if a playoff-bound club decides that it doesn’t have enough bullpen depth for the stretch run, Norris could be a guy that they'd look to acquire.
Denard Span, CF, Giants — Span definitely isn’t a perfect player at this stage in his career, as he’s 33 years old and has -20 defensive runs saved this season according to FanGraphs, worst among qualifying center fielders. He has experienced an offensive resurgence, though, hitting .276/.326/.433 with seven homers in 351 plate appearances. While there’s not a huge need for outfield depth among contenders—we saw that with the underwhelming return the Tigers received for J.D. Martinez—Span could be a guy teams look to if injuries occur in August, especially if they’re able to use him as a fourth outfielder or move him to a corner spot. He’s owed $11 million next season and will receive either a $12 million mutual option or a $4 million buyout in 2019, which means he’ll almost surely clear waivers. That financial commitment could concern teams that would otherwise be interested, though.
Curtis Granderson, OF, Mets — The Grandy Man no longer serves much of a purpose in New York, as he’s clearly the fourth outfielder behind Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, and Jay Bruce. And while it’s very possible that the Mets will try to pass both Granderson and Bruce, their other pending free-agent outfielder, through waivers, Granderson is less likely to be claimed and less likely to be re-signed by the Mets than Bruce, who has an .861 OPS and 28 homers this season. The 36-year-old Granderson could be a solid bench piece for a playoff-bound club. He’s hitting for a solid .224/.329/.444 slash line with 13 homers in 346 plate appearances this season, can play all three outfield positions, and is a beloved clubhouse presence.
Kurt Suzuki, C, Braves — Much like Hundley, Suzuki is an above-average backup catcher who is a pending free agent and could be of interest to contenders if they end up needing extra catching depth for the stretch run. The 33-year-old backstop is competent and experienced behind the plate, and he’s posted a solid .266/.341/.532 slash line with 12 homers in 180 plate appearances. this season. If a contender loses a catcher, Suzuki could become an interesting trade candidate.
Dustin McGowan, RHP, Marlins — McGowan, 35, has quietly turned in a spectacular 2017 season, posting a 2.77 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 55.1 innings of relief. He’s a free agent at the end of the year, and with the Marlins unlikely to get back into the running for the second NL Wild Card spot, they might try to get whatever value they can for McGowan. With several contenders still likely to need bullpen reinforcements in August, McGowan could be a guy to keep an eye on.
Drew Storen, RHP, Reds — Storen has had a bounce-back season in Cincinnati, and the free-agent-to-be could provide a boost to a bullpen that ends up needing additional help later this month. In 45 appearances this year, the 29-year-old right-hander has a 3.16 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
John Jaso, 1B/OF, Pirates — While his overall stats—a .212/.303/.389 slash line with seven homers—don’t look too impressive on the surface, Jaso has been spectacular as a pinch hitter, slashing .273/.429/.591 with two homers in 28 plate appearances. Jaso is capable of filling a hole at first base or the corner outfield spots, but he’s not particularly strong at any spot in the field. He’s the type of guy that will likely clear waivers because of his limited skill set, but his one trick—the ability to deliver a strong at-bat off the bench—could play major dividends for a contender that acquires him via a waiver deal.