Even though the Trade Deadline is over, teams can still trade with one another. That’s because there is a second traded deadline that happens on August 31st, known as the Waiver Trade Deadline. They need to either pass trade waivers while the team works on trading them to any team, or they can be claimed on trade waivers and then have to be traded to that team. Let’s look at five traded that didn’t happen at the normal MLB Trade Deadline, but should happen at the August 31st Trade Deadline.
Jose Iglesias to the Phillies
This year, Phillies shortstops rank 28th in the MLB with a .617 OPS. Philadelphia has also struggled to hit lefties, with just a .678 OPS that ranks 25th. Therefore, why not kill to birds on one stone and acquire Jose Iglesias? The Tigers 28-year-old shortstop, a free agent at the end of the year, is hitting .264/.306/.389 this season. Nothing too crazy, but what makes him a perfect fit is his ability to crush lefites. He’s hitting .317/.367/.512 vs them, and has more extra base hits (10) than strikeouts (6) vs them. He’s also a solid defender (4 drs) who would be a huge defensive upgrade to Abdsrubal Cabrera (-19 drs between 2B and SS). Even though Cabrera is a better hitter (.270/.323/472), his poor defensive makes him more of a plug in play depth player than an everyday shortstop. Iglesias, who’s 2.0 WAR is much better than Cabrera’s 0.8 WAR, would give Philadelphia some much needed offensive and defensive balance they need if they are serous about making a postseason run.
Andrew McCutchen to the Indians
The Indians know that their outfield (.706 OPS) has been a weak link for them this season. In fact, that’s why they acquired center fielder Leonys Martin from the Tigers. Unfortunately, Martin is dealing with a very significant bacterial infection that is considered life threatening (wishing the best for him and his family). That means Cleveland will likely need to do something tricky, which is find a replacement in a very thin outfield market. There is one name out there, which is former MVP Andrew McCutchen. Now, McCutchen’s Giants aren’t completely out of it yet, as they’re 5.5 games back of the NL West and 6.5 games back of the NL Wildcard. However, they have a very tough schedule in September and have too many injuries haunting to them to make a serious push. At some point, they’ll be forced to put up McCutchen, a pending free agent, on the trade market. McCutchen’s .255/.353/.415 may not seem impressive, but his 45% hard contact rate suggests he’s the victim of a lot of bad luck. In addition, he still hits lefties well, as he has a .801 OPS vs southpaws this season. Cleveland has hit lefties well (.759 OPS, 7th in MLB), but their outfield is primarly left handed. McCutchen would make Cleveland’s lineup less left handed dominant (3 lefties and 4 switch hitters), balance out a top heavy lineup reliant of Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, and would also bring a veteran presence that this oyung Cleveland lineup could use. It’s a perfect fit, but now Cleveland has to find a way to get this trade done. If they don’t, it’ll be much tougher for them to compete in a very tough American League.
Matt Harvey to the Mariners
If the Mariners want to break their sixteen year playoff drought, than they are going to have to make every move possible to fix every glaring hole they have. One hole they have is the rotation, which ranks 19th in the MLB with a 4.20 ERA. They’ve relied heavily on Wade LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales, a recipe for disaster, and had to move Felix Hernandez in the bullpen. That means they need to acquire the best starting pitcher available, and that guy is Matt Harvey. The right hander has saved his career after being traded from the Mets to the Reds this season. After starting out with a 7.00 ERA as a Met, he has a 4.61 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and a 4.69 FIP. While those stats indicate he is a shell of his former ace self, he is still a solid middle of the rotation starter with a 3.20 K-BB ratio as a Red, and excellent stuff. While he suffers from homerun issues, sending him from the most hitter’s friendly ballpark as far as home runs are concerned in 2018 to the 18th in Seattle will surely help. It probably won’t take much to get him at all, as he’s a free agent at the end of the year and doesn’t have eye popping stats. With Seattle starting to slip from the A’s for the second wildcard (2.5 GB), they need to act quickly and Harvey is the best player available who can help them out in a postseason push.
Josh Donaldson to Arizona
Yes, that’s right. The 2015 AL MVP should be traded to Arizona, of all places. It’s important with Donaldson to remember that he’s only played 36 games this year and has yet to return from a calf injury. However, he has been cleared to run and should begin a rehab assignment soon. That means Toronto may be able to trade him by the August 31 trade deadline. If so, the suitors would be small. There aren’t a lot of teams out there that either have a hole a third base or can afford to take a risk on Donaldson. There is one team that qualifies for both, however, and that team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona seems to be fine they way they are. After all, they’re currently in the NL West and coule end up with the number 1 seed in the NL. Or, they could stumble and completely miss the playoffs. To prevent that from happening, Arizona should take an upside play with Donaldson. Ultimately, Donaldson still hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs last year and had a 4.8 WAR. There isn’t any proof that he can’t be that guy once returning. If he ends up being that same guy, than Arizona can get a huge boost at third base, where they’ve gotten limited production (.694 OPS) and just lost Jake Lamb for the year. And if it doesn’t work out, they’re still the same first place team they are now minus a very low end prospect, as the price for Donaldson should be very affordable, considering Toronto will eat up most of what’s remaining of his $23 million salary. Overall, Arizona has nothng to lose and so much to gain with a trade for Donaldson, and they need to pursue it immediately.
Jim Johnson to the Dodgers
It’s no secret that the Dodgers bullpen has struggled mightily since losing closer Kenley Jansen due to health issues. In fact, their bullpen has blown five straight games, resulting in a 1-4 record in that span. That’s caused them to drop out of first place in the NL West, as they are in third place and two games back of the Diamondbacks. To get back into first place, they desperately need to fix the bullpen. Best way to do so? Acquire the best guy available. That guy would be Jim Johnson of the Angels. The 35 year old right hander has a 3.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and a 4.38 FIP. He also has solid peripherals and still induces ground balls near half the time (49.3%). Lastly, he has some closng experience and could help fill in as the Dodgers wait for the reutrn of Jansen. This isn’t a flashy move, like the acquisitions of Manny Machado and Brian Dozier, but it’s one that needs to be made if the Dodgers want to break their 29 year World Series drought