Four August trades that will change the MLB landscape

Who says the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is the only trade deadline that matters? The month of August proved to be active as well on the trade front with several potential impact names changing addresses.

Of course, to be traded in August, a player has to either clear trade waivers, which means the other 29 teams have to pass on claiming the player and his remaining contract, or his current team has to work out a trade with the claiming team within 48 hours. If no trade is agreed upon during that time, his current club has the option of keeping him or letting him go without a return.

It sounds complicated, but it’s really not once you get used to the process. It makes dealing a little more difficult though. Especially when teams only claim a player in order to block him from going elsewhere.

A few notable players did make it through waivers this August. That includes Josh Donaldson, who was traded to the Cleveland Indians before Friday’s deadline. He’s one player who could make an impact down the stretch, health permitting. Here, we’ll look at four other players dealt in August who could change the MLB landscape as we head into September and beyond. In fact, a couple of them have already started.

New Phillies slugger Jose Bautista highlights a group of potentially impactful August trade additions. (Getty Images)

José Bautista – Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies made a pair of offensive-minded trades in August, and surprisingly both were made with division rivals. First, they acquired Justin Bour from the Miami Marlins. Then they went out and got José Bautista in a trade with the New York Mets. Both players should provide solid production down the stretch, but it’s Bautista who could be one of the better August additions.

Bautista already delivered a key hit in Philadelphia’s win against the Nationals on Wednesday. He also recently had a seven RBI game against Philadelphia, which showed there’s still plenty of punch left in his bat. Bautista has had his share of memorable postseason moments too, including his go-ahead three-run home run (and bat flip) in the 2015 ALDS.

Given his experience and production, Bautista is the ideal target in an August trade.

Andrew McCutchen – New York Yankees

The Yankees are still dealing with life without Aaron Judge. The slugging outfielder has been slow to recover after suffering a chip fracture in his right wrist on July 26. Though manager Aaron Boone remains confident Judge will return this season, there’s still no clear timetable for that to happen. That made acquiring an outfielder essential, and McCutchen is as good an option as you’ll find in an August trade.

McCutchen, 31, has seen his averages and power drop this season. He’s hitting .255/.357/.415 with 15 homers through 130 games, which is down from his career average of .288/.377/.481 and 24 homers. He still has value though because his age, his MVP and Gold Glove background, and the fact he’s not an expensive short-term rental. He’s only owed the remainder of $14.7 million this season, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are already paying $2.5 million of that.

With the Yankees seemingly headed for a second straight wild-card game, they will need as many hands on deck as possible. That’s even if Judge comes back healthy and strong.

Mike Fiers – Oakland Athletics

When the A’s acquired Mike Fiers back on Aug. 6, little did they know just how much they’d need him. Sure, they knew they needed the depth. The rotation was already leaning heavily on Sean Manaea and a group of veteran castoffs led by Trevor Cahill and Edwin Jackson. But because of injuries to Manaea and Brett Anderson earlier this week, they desperately need him now.

Until Friday’s dud against Seattle, Fiers had been very good in Oakland. In his first four starts for the A’s, he allowed four earned runs over 24 innings. The A’s won’t ask for a lot. They simply need innings so that Bob Melvin can set up his bullpen and so their offense can do its thing. Even in Friday’s rough outing, the offense has had his back and ended up winning 7-5.

New Chicago Cubs infielder Daniel Murphy has been a hitting machine at Wrigley Field and in the postseason. (AP)

Daniel Murphy – Chicago Cubs

It’s difficult to look beyond Murphy’s past anti-LGBT comments or the cavalier manner in which he addressed those comments when arriving to the Cubs. We’ll attempt to focus on the baseball side here.

Murphy’s already shown the type of impact he can have in Chicago. He collected multiple hits in five of his first six games in a Cubs uniforms, and has historically performed well at Wrigley Field (.400/.431/.692 in 137 plate appearances) and in the postseason (.323/.407/.613 in 108 plate appearances).

Despite the Cubs seemingly having endless options to plug in at Murphy’s second base position, and despite Murphy being a defensive liability more often than not, he’ll be a difficult guy for Joe Maddon to keep out of his lineup.

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