DETROIT — The 2017 summer trade season drove home an important lesson: The July 31 deadline isn’t the final trade deadline; it’s just the first.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton and starting pitcher Justin Verlander were both traded on Aug. 31, the final day in which traded players are eligible to participate in the postseason with the new team.
July 31 is the pre-waiver trade deadline, meaning players can be traded without first being placed on waivers. Incredibly, given that he’s been the most dominating pitcher of the last 12 months, no one claimed Verlander when he was placed on waivers in August before his last-minute trade to the Houston Astros.
The Tigers’ deal-making is likely to be more conventional this summer, simply because their biggest trade chip — Michael Fulmer — makes the minimum salary and would never survive a trip through waivers.
The trade market is likely to be chilly, especially in the American League, where four teams (the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians and Astros) have all but clinched playoff spots in July.
But last year taught us to expect the unexpected, meaning someone not ranked highly on the list below will probably end up getting dealt.
We’ll update the list below regularly between now and Aug. 31.