Top trade candidates for August
The non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone. But that doesn't mean the window for contenders to get help has completely closed.
Trades will be made in August -- the only difference is general managers now have to get a player through waivers before wheeling and dealing. There are going to be many players -- including some top names -- who slide through waivers for a variety of reasons. Here's a look at a few who could still be traded:
Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers, RP
At 33, he's enjoying another quality season, converting all 23 save opportunities and compiling a 1.50 ERA and an 0.83 WHIP. Relievers will be in demand throughout the month, as contenders try to strengthen themselves for September and teams already positioned for the postseason look ahead to October. K-Rod is owed about $12 million going forward, including the buyout on his 2017 option.
Yovani Gallardo, Rangers, SP
Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels decided not to trade him after adding Cole Hamels, but he could be gone in a few weeks. Gallardo pitched poorly in his starts before the Deadline, so an August turnaround would revive the market. It might not take that great of an offer to get him, as Daniels could decide not to take an expensive risk by giving him a qualifying offer.
Ian Kennedy, Padres, SP
He's not going to be given a qualifying offer, so at some point, Padres general manager A.J. Preller will have to try to get something in return for him. Kennedy seems likely to either slide through waivers or be claimed by a team that wants to acquire him, as he's earning almost $1.6 million per month. It would be an expensive blocking move to keep him away from a rival.
James Shields, Padres, SP
Moving his salary would lessen any heat on Preller from his ownership group. Shields has been solid but not spectacular (8-4, 3.77 ERA, 148 strikeouts in 133 2/3 innings) for his hometown team and remains a guy who is good with young pitchers. But he's 33 and owed $65 million over next three years in his back-loaded contract. Shields is likely to clear waivers.
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, OF
He cranked 10 homers in a 14-game stretch around the All-Star break, but in general, he hasn't had a great year. There was talk that Gonzalez could follow Troy Tulowitzki out of town before the Deadline, but Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich is holding onto him. He's owed $37 million in 2016 and '17.
Marlon Byrd, Reds, OF
Two years ago, following an August trade, he helped the Pirates end their long postseason drought. It's likely that Byrd won't get the 550 plate appearances needed to reach his vesting option for 2016, instead turning it into a club option.
Martin Prado, Marlins, INF/OF
A valuable utility man whose primary position this season has been third base, Prado would be a good bench part for almost any team. He is owed $11 million next year, but the Yankees are on the hook for $8 million of it.
Adam Lind, Brewers, 1B/DH
He figured to be in play with the Cardinals, but they added Brandon Moss instead. The left-handed-hitting Lind offers an excellent platoon bat as well as a late-inning pinch-hit option. He's owed about $3 million if an $8 million club option for 2016 is not picked up.
John Danks, White Sox, SP
Historically, the White Sox have not been very willing to pay players to work elsewhere, but they have young pitching coming and need places to put them. Danks' 4.33 career ERA won't command attention, but consider this: He pitched very well in starts against the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds this year, cutting his ERA to 2.92 in 28 Interleague starts. Danks has worked to copy Mark Buehrle's style, and it plays against National League lineups.
Starlin Castro, Cubs, SS
His contract assures that he won't be claimed on waivers. But Castro seems on borrowed time with Addison Russell available to move from second base to shortstop. He could be dealt elsewhere, either for a bad contract or with the Cubs including some money to facilitate a trade. One example of a possible fit -- to the Padres for second baseman Jedd Gyorko.
Mark Trumbo, Mariners, 1B/OF
He's in the last year of his contract, and it's been a long season for him, both in Arizona and Seattle. Trumbo figures to be a difficult arbitration decision as a five-plus player in the offseason, but he could have appeal to teams with financial flexibility and a lack of power hitting, whether they're contending or not.