An exciting end to July resulted in several teams solidifying rotations, fortifying outfields, and all but stamping their names on October playoff tickets. Now that we’re in August, MLB rumors will populate online sports news like gnats on rotten hamburger, as August is the month where revocable waivers play an integral role in finding hidden talent to make September baseball more interesting. Players are claimed in reverse order and go by whichever league the player in question came from. For instance, if Giancarlo Stanton came available, Philadelphia would get first dibs. Players, once claimed, can either get recalled by waiving team, get picked up by another team, or simply get shunned – the latter stiffing their original team with whatever contract terms remain.
Since Stanton will obviously not find himself waiver eligible, we found several players who may just find themselves waived goodbye. Expect Chicago, New York, and the Dodgers to make splashes and create more MLB rumors for writers abroad. These players will be talked about the most. (Note that most waiver players either suck, are old or have ridiculous price tags.)
Coco Crisp, Oakland A’s
The 35-year old Oakland Athletic is an excellent defender, and his career hitting stats (.268, 117 HR, 578 RBIs) aren’t terribly bad. He was once a stealing machine, compiling 298 for his career. One issue Oakland will face is eating a substantial portion of his $11 million owed whether another team claims him, or not. He’ll come off the DL soon, and provided his base stealing and defensive prowess return in full force, the MLB rumors will push him into the Cubs or Yankees organization.
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
CarGo will be the quickest cargo for Colorado to unload, especially given his torrid hitting. Gonzalez’s ridiculous batting stats have rumored to drive his price through the ceiling, and with $37 million owed over two more seasons, getting rid of his contractual encumbrance may be Colorado’s best bet. According to some MLB rumors, this would be an acquisition ideal for Los Angeles or Pittsburgh, the former having unlimited check-writing privileges.
Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox
There was heavy speculation throughout the trade deadline that Pablo Sandoval and his hefty $75 million contract was being shopped around. With four years left, Boston would also eat some contract money but could package Hanley Ramirez with someone willing to take on another 3 year, $66 million headache. Sandoval and Ramirez, 28- and 31-years-old respectively, simply haven’t hit well in AL parks, which means an interesting trade partner for Sandoval and Ramirez could be San Francisco (where Sandoval came from). Watch the MLB rumors leading up to August 31 (when postseason rosters are finalized and all trades/claims are completed).
James Shields, San Diego Padres
San Diego simply didn’t care to move anyone. In fact, they acquired Marc Rzepczynski for some unfathomable reason and told everyone Kimbrel, Ross, Shields, Upton, and Cashner wouldn’t move – yet. They’ve won 7 of their last 10, sat 6.5 games out of wild card No. 2, yet have an almost impossible August and September schedule. Shields, 33, is owed $66 million over three years, but has an opt-out clause for 2016. His preference for West Coast team control could make San Francisco or Los Angeles (either team) an enticing candidate, although Padres could expect 98 percent of someone’s farm system in exchange for Shields.
Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
More MLB rumors surfaced regarding Cincinnati players than even the Padres (if you were paying attention). Although his hitting has declined sharply, the 34-year-old Phillips could make someone lacking solid infield defense (think Chicago Cubs, who’d shift Addison Russell to SS and bench the mechanically flawed Castro) happy. His final two year, $27 million contract could be worthy of a divisional foe seeking a missing defensive piece, and he’d probably command much less than Aroldis Chapman.
Jose Reyes, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies have made it clear than (most) everyone is expendable. Well, probably not Nolan Arenado, who will become the face of 2016 and beyond. Although he was recently acquired from the Mets, the 32-year old Reyes and his $48 million contract would sure look spectacular on someone else’s books, but it would take a straight-up trade to avoid Colorado eating $19.5 million of Reyes’ contract, which may be problematic given his best years are behind him.
So many MLB trade rumors to field, so little time. Stay tuned as the August madness begins heating up and players start shuffling into airports en route to new teams.
[Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]