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Trade Talk: All the moves before the deadline

August 21, 2018

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire stayed hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire stayed hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be eligible for its postseason roster. Teams can acquire players after Sept. 1, but those players would not be eligible to play with that team in the playoffs. 
Throughout August, it's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason. 
When a waiver claim is placed, the player's original club has three options:
• Work out a standard trade with the claiming club within 48 hours
• Allow the player -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return
• Pull the player back off waivers
A player who is pulled back off waivers can be placed on trade waivers a second time, but at that point the waiver request becomes irrevocable. If a player passes through waivers unclaimed, he can then be traded to any club, free of restriction (though all 40-man-roster players in the trade must clear waivers before being dealt).
Glossary: Trade Waivers & Aug. 31 'Deadline'
With that in mind, here is the latest trade buzz:
Yankees officially land McCutchen
Aug. 31: The Yankees have officially acquired outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Giants for a pair of Minor League prospects.
With Aaron Judge still recovering from a fractured right wrist, New York adds a veteran outfield bat to the lineup in McCutchen, who is hitting .255/.357/.415 with 16 home runs and 13 steals this season.
In exchange for McCutchen, the Yankees are sending No. 23 prospect Abiatal Avelino, a 23-year-old infielder slashing .287/.333/.446 with 15 homers in 123 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre in 2018, and Class A short-season pitcher Juan DePaula to San Francisco. More >

Donaldson traded to Indians
Aug. 31: Star third baseman Josh Donaldson has been traded from the Blue Jays to the Indians, a source has confirmed to's Mark Feinsand. Donaldson cleared revocable waivers earlier in the day, making him free to be traded to any of the other 29 teams, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported.
The 32-year-old has been limited to 36 Major League games this season by injuries, most notably a calf issue that kept him out of game action for three months. Donaldson, who is set to become a free agent this winter, has posted his worst OPS (.757) since 2012. In 2017, the three-time All-Star and former American League Most Valuable Player posted a .944 OPS with 33 homers in 113 games for Toronto.
The Indians have AL MVP candidate Jose Ramirez at third base, but Ramirez could be moved to second and current second baseman Jason Kipnis, who has struggled at the plate (.690 OPS), could be moved to a bench role. More >

Brewers acquire Giovany Gonzalez, Granderson
Aug. 31: The Brewers and Nationals agreed to a deal that will send Gonzalez to Milwaukee in exchange for two Minor League prospects, catcher/first baseman KJ Harrison and infielder Gilbert Lara. With Jimmy Nelson not likely to pitch again for the Brewers this season, and the club making a push to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011, Gonzalez joins a rotation featuring Chase Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Junior Guerra and Wade Miley. 
In 27 starts this season for Washington, Gonzalez has a 4.57 ERA. In 2017, he posted a 2.96 ERA over 32 starts and finished sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting.
Milwaukee wasn't done adding, however, also acquiring veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson from the Blue Jays and lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno from the White Sox for two other prospects, outfielder Bryan Connell and right-hander Johan Dominguez. Granderson, 37, hit .243/.340/.429 with 11 home runs in 103 games for the Blue Jays this season, his 15th in the Majors. While Milwaukee's outfield is set with Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, Granderson could provide a veteran bat off the bench. More >

Dodgers acquire Madson, Freese
Aug. 31: The Dodgers have acquired right-hander Ryan Madson from the Nationals, completing a trade for the reliever after claiming him off waivers earlier this week.
Los Angeles was in great need of some bullpen help, with a number of relievers on the disabled list and Kenley Jansen struggling since he returned from nearly two weeks off due to an irregular heartbeat.
Madson, 38, has an unimpressive 5.28 ERA in 49 appearances for Washington this season, his 13th in the Majors. However, the right-hander has extensive postseason experience and a pair of World Series rings. He's also just one season removed from posting a 1.83 ERA.
Just prior to Friday's deadline to add players to rosters for postseason eligibility, the Dodgers also acquired veteran infielder David Freese from the Pirates in exchange for Minor League infielder Jesus Manuel Valdez. Freese has extensive postseason experience from his time with the Cardinals, including performances in 2011 that earned him the NLCS and World Series MVP awards. In 94 games for Pittsburgh this season, he hit .282/.336/.444 with nine homers. More >

Yankees acquire Hechavarria from Pirates
Aug. 31: The Yankees bolstered their middle infield depth by adding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Hechavarria, who was traded from the Rays to the Pirates earlier this season, is hitting .254/.287/.342 in 76 games (61 with Tampa Bay, 15 with Pittsburgh). More >
A's add Gearrin
Aug. 31: The A's added to an already deep bullpen by acquiring reliever Cory Gearrin in a trade with the Rangers, sending Minor League pitchers Abdiel Mendoza and Teodoro Ortega to Texas. Gearrin has a 3.51 ERA in 56 appearances between the Giants (35) and the Rangers (21) this season. He is the latest relief pitcher acquisition in a long line of them for Oakland this year, including Jeurys Familia, Fernando Rodney and Shawn Kelley. More >
Garcia nearing deal with Cubs
Aug. 31: The first-place Cubs appear close to adding another veteran arm to their bullpen mix for the stretch run, as's Mark Feinsand reports southpaw Jaime Garcia is likely to sign with Chicago on a Minor League deal. The Cubs, whose 40-man roster is currently full, have not confirmed Garcia's signing.
The Cubs made a similar move in July when they traded Minor League pitcher Tyler Thomas to the Rangers in exchange for right-hander Jesse Chavez, though Garcia figures to serve as a situational lefty should he eventually get a callup to the big league roster. Though the Blue Jays formally released Garcia on Wednesday amid a tough season, the veteran has held left-handed hitters to a .188 average -- a skill that could prove useful to Chicago down the stretch.
Overall, the 32-year old Garcia is 3-6 with a 5.93 ERA in 2018, with 13 starts and 12 appearances out of the bullpen.
Braves acquire Rivera from Angels, Duda from Royals
Aug. 29: The Braves made a pair of moves to improve the fringes of their roster Wednesday, acquiring catcher Rene Rivera from the Angels on a waiver claim and first baseman Lucas Duda from the Royals for cash considerations.
This is the second straight year that Rivera and Duda have changed teams during the season, as they were teammates with the Mets before Duda was traded to the Rays last July and Rivera was claimed off waivers by the Cubs the following month.
Rivera, 35, recently returned from the disabled list after missing nearly three months with right knee inflammation. He has posted a .244/.287/.439 slash line with four homers and 11 RBIs over 87 plate appearances in 2018.
Rivera doesn't figure to see a great deal of playing time down the stretch, as he is joining a Braves club that already has a productive catching tandem in Tyler Flowers, who signed a contract extension Tuesday, and Kurt Suzuki.
As for Duda, the 32-year-old has posted a .242 average with 13 homers over 341 plate appearances this season. With Freddie Freeman entrenched at first base, the left-handed-swinging Duda will likely contribute primarily as a pinch-hitter. The slugger has some experience as an outfielder, but he hasn't started out there since 2013.

Phillies acquire Bautista from Mets
Aug. 28: The Phillies added another bench bat for their postseason push with the acquisition of Jose Bautista from the Mets on Tuesday for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman previously reported that the Mets weren't willing to let Bautista go on waivers for nothing, as the club didn't have much financial incentive to do so due to the 37-year-old's reasonable salary, which is a prorated portion of the league minimum. The veteran slugger has amassed 302 plate appearances since joining the Mets in May, hitting just .204 but posting a solid .351 on-base percentage with nine homers.
Bautista is the Phillies' second bench acquisition following the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as Philadelphia traded for Justin Bour on Aug. 10 after claiming the first baseman off waivers from the Marlins. Bautista offers a veteran right-handed complement to the lefty-hitting Bour, though Bour is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.
The Phillies are the third National League East team Bautista will play for this season, as he signed with the Braves in April and appeared in 12 games before being released. More >