9 players who could be traded by Friday night

August 28th, 2018

With a few days remaining until the calendar turns to September, baseball's next deadline is rapidly approaching.
Unlike its July 31 predecessor, Friday night at midnight ET does not present a trade deadline, as teams may continue making deals through the end of the season -- provided they have either cleared revocable trade waivers or are being dealt to the team that was awarded a claim on the player in question.
Glossary: Trade waivers & Aug. 31 deadline
Friday marks a "roster deadline" of sorts, as any player acquired after Sept. 1 is not eligible to be on a club's postseason roster. The most notable recent late-August addition was , who was traded from the Tigers to the Astros with just minutes -- some say it was even seconds -- to spare on the clock.
Latest Trade Talk
Will one of this season's contenders bolster their roster in the final hours of August, giving them a better chance to reach the postseason or succeed deep into October once they get there?
Here are some names to watch between now and Friday night. All players listed have reportedly already cleared trade waivers, with the exception of Josh Donaldson, who started a rehab assignment this week and is widely expected to clear before Friday.
Donaldson, 3B, age 32
Donaldson hasn't played since May 28 thanks to a left calf injury, but he's slated to start a rehab assignment this week, setting him up for a September return. With a relatively steep $4.5 million still coming his way this season, the 2015 American League MVP Award winner would be the ultimate risk/reward scenario for any contender. But given his history on the field, Donaldson may be the most impactful player available in the coming days.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

, OF, age 31
While the veteran outfielder hasn't come close to replicating his 2013 National League MVP Award-winning numbers, McCutchen has been a solid performer throughout the season for the Giants. San Francisco owes him a little less than $3 million over the final month, a sum it might be willing to send some of his salary back in a deal in exchange for a prospect of any value. A move to a contender could energize McCutchen.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

, LHP, age 32
The Nationals have already been sellers this month with the trades of and Matt Adams, but general manager Mike Rizzo may not be done. Gonzalez appears to be the most likely of the remaining players to be dealt by Washington, which owes the lefty about $2.4 million. Gonzalez has three outstanding starts since the All-Star break, allowing one earned run over seven innings in each of those games. Unfortunately, the other four starts since the break have seen him allow 23 combined runs over 18 innings. It's difficult to imagine a team trusting Gonzalez in a postseason start, but a contender dealing with rotation injuries (the Red Sox? Indians?) could do worse for a September fill-in.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

, 2B, age 31
Forsythe was having a terrible season when he was shipped from Los Angeles to Minnesota as part of the deal, but the veteran has shown signs of rebounding since joining the Twins. Forsythe is hitting .326/.402/.372 with nine RBIs in 24 games since the trade, and with only about $1.7 million left on his contract, a contender in need of middle-infield help could take a chance on him.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

, OF, age 37
Granderson has driven in a run in only two of his past 22 games, while his strikeout-to-walk ratio is about 2.5-to-1 during that stretch. Many thought the Yankees might have interest in the veteran as a fill-in for the injured , but New York seems content with its current replacements, taking his former club out of the equation. Granderson, who was an August acquisition by the Dodgers a year ago, is owed about $1 million.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

, LHP, age 34
Liriano has had a tough year with the Tigers, posting a 4.82 ERA and a 1.519 WHIP in 21 outings. But the southpaw has been excellent against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .138/.233/.225 slash line. Liriano is owed about $800,000 this season, a modest amount for a contender looking for left-on-left bullpen help.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

, 1B, age 32
Duda has been effective since the All-Star break, hitting six homers with 22 RBIs and a .784 OPS in his past 30 games. Duda has crushed right-handed pitching this season, his .814 OPS bettering his mark against lefties (.513) by more than 300 points. Duda is owed about $700,000 this season, making him a reasonable option for a team seeking left-handed pop off the bench.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

, RHP, age 31
Since he gave up 10 runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Rangers on Aug. 2, Cashner has pitched well for the Orioles, posting a 3.67 ERA over his past four starts. Given the dearth of available starting pitching, he could be an attractive option for any team in need of an arm every five days. The right-hander is owed about $1 million for the rest of this season and is inked through 2019 at a reasonable price. The Orioles also passed Alex Cobb through waivers, though he's owed $43 million over the next three years, making it far more unlikely he will be moved.
Contract: Signed for $8 million in 2019 ($10 million club option for '20)

, 1B, age 31
It was interesting that Smoak cleared waivers given his moderate salary (he's owed about $825,000 this season) and team-friendly $6 million club option for 2019. Smoak has 20 home runs and an .813 OPS this season, so while he hasn't matched his breakout 2017 campaign, he's been well worth the money for Toronto. Unless a team is willing to part with a legitimate prospect or two, it's difficult to imagine the Blue Jays trading their first baseman this month.
Contract: $6 million club option for 2019