The 2016 trade deadline came and went earlier this week, though that doesn't mean the trading season is over. Teams still have the ability to make waiver trades. In recent years players like Chase Utley, Fernando Rodney, Austin Jackson, Justin Morneau, and Adrian Gonzalez were involved in August waiver trades.

Here's a primer explaining how waiver trades work. The short version is this: a player who is claimed on trade waivers can only be traded to the claiming team. A player who goes unclaimed can be traded anywhere. Many claims are made to "block" other clubs. So, for example, if the Blue Jays see a starter on waivers who they think may interest the Orioles, they'll claim him to prevent that player from landing in Baltimore.

It's important to note teams can make waiver trades at any point from now through the end of the season. However, players must be in the organization by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 31 to be eligible for the postseason roster. There are no loopholes or exceptions to that rule. Any player traded after that time isn't postseason eligible. I guess we can consider 11:59 p.m. ET on August 31 the "true" trade deadline.

So, with our attention now shifting to waiver trades, let's look at the top August trade waiver candidates. Keep in mind any productive player with an affordable contract is getting claimed. The Rays will have a tough time trading their starters this month because they're going to get claimed on trade waivers, for example. Also, trade waivers are revocable, so players can be pulled back. Here are the top 2016 August trade waiver candidates.

The Catchers

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Could the Yankees continue their sell-off with Brian McCann in August? USATSI
Brian McCann
ATL • C • #16
AVG/OBP/SLG.236/.334/.424
HR15
WAR1.2
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There were rumors the Braves were interested in a reunion with Brian McCann, though his contract is an obstacle. The Yankees owe McCann the remainder of his $17 million salary this season plus $17 million in both 2017 and 2018 as well. Atlanta wanted the Yankees to pay some of that down. That contract ensures McCann will slip through trade waivers unclaimed, opening up his market. The Braves are the only team that appears to be seriously interested, however. New York actually sold at the deadline, making it likely they'll explore the market for McCann, especially with top catching prospect Gary Sanchez set to join the team Wednesday.

Derek Norris
C
AVG/OBP/SLG.192/.255/.355
HR12
WAR.9

I knew Derek Norris was having a rough year, but I didn't realize it was that rough. Yikes. That said, this is a catcher who hit .250/.305/.404 with 14 homers just last season, plus the metrics rate him as an excellent pitch-framer. As an added bonus, Norris will remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2018. The Padres pushed him in trade talks before the deadline but found no takers.

Carlos Ruiz
C
AVG/OBP/SLG.255/.363/.358
HR3
WAR1.1

Inevitably, a team is going to lose a catcher to injury this month. That's baseball. Carlos Ruiz is in the final season of his contract and he's just a backup for the Phillies at this point, who are going with Cameron Rupp as their starter. Ruiz is a quality veteran backup option and he could be an emergency starter should a contender lose their No. 1 backstop to injury. The Phillies are rebuilding, so of course he's on the market.

Kurt Suzuki
LAA • C • #24
AVG/OBP/SLG.283/.319/.434
HR6
WAR.9
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Twins backstop Kurt Suzuki hits the August trade waiver candidate trifecta. Having a productive year? Check. On a rebuilding team? Check. An impending free agent? Also check. Well, that last one assumes Suzuki will not receive the 224 plate appearances necessarily to vest his $6 million option for 2017. Considering he has only 261 plate appearances to date, I'd say that's a safe assumption. Suzuki, like Ruiz, is a potential target for a team that wants a backup catcher upgrade or needs a starter due to injury.

Platoon Bats

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Coco Crisp could help improve a contender's bench down the stretch. USATSI
Coco Crisp
LF
AVG/OBP/SLG vs. RHP.246/.322/.451
WAR.1

Contending teams are always looking to upgrade their bench. Coco Crisp has been relegated to part-time duty with the Athletics because they want to get a look at younger players, and he's performed quite well against right-handed pitchers. (Crisp is a switch-hitter, but his numbers against lefties are terrible.) He can still fake center field as well. Coco is owed the remainder of his $11 million salary this year plus a $750,000 buyout of his 2017 option. That guarantees he will slip through waivers unclaimed. The A's will have plenty of time to find a taker for Crisp.

Jeff Francoeur
LF
AVG/OBP/SLG vs. LHP.281/.323/.439
WAR.4

I was a bit surprised the Braves didn't trade Jeff Francoeur prior to Monday's deadline, especially after adding Matt Kemp. Francoeur can still punish southpaws and shut down the running game with his arm, plus he's long had a reputation for being a Grade-A teammate and clubhouse guy. Francoeur, who is on a cheap one-year deal, was involved in an August waiver trade back in 2010, which sent him from the Mets to the Rangers. He knows the drill.

Adam Lind
NYY • 1B
AVG/OBP/SLG vs. RHP.224/.260/.439
WAR-0.4
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This has not been a good year for Lind, even against righties, who he has historically destroyed. Keep in mind this guy hit .277/.360/.460 just a year ago, including .291/.380/.503 against right-handers, so the track record is there. The Mariners acquired slugging first baseman/DH Dan Vogelbach a few weeks back and I'm sure they'd love to get him in the lineup down the stretch. Lind could get moved to a club with a sudden need at first base or DH to make room for Vogelbach.

Ryan Raburn
WAS • LF • #18
AVG/OBP/SLG vs. LHP.211/.337/.451
WAR-0.4
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Yes, his batting average is low, but Ryan Raburn hits for power and draws a ton of walks against lefties, making him a fine platoon option for someone's bench. As an added bonus, he can play first base and the two corner outfield positions, and he's on a cheap one-year contract. The Rockies are only 3 1/2 games outs of a playoff spot and they did just lose Trevor Story to what is likely a season-ending thumb injury. They may want to hang on to Raburn and not sacrifice any more offense as they try to make a run these next few weeks.

Danny Valencia
BAL • 3B • #2
AVG/OBP/SLG vs. LHP.370/.440/.654
WAR.9
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Danny Valencia is the closest thing to an everyday player in this platoon section. He annihilates lefties and holds his own against righties (.276/.322/.419), plus he can play the four corner positions. The downside is his defense, which is abysmal, especially at third base. Valencia, like Crisp, has lost playing time to younger players recently. He can be retained as an arbitration-eligible player next season and would be a fine platoon option for some contender's bench.

Everyday Players

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Yunel Escobar could find himself on the move in August. USATSI
Yunel Escobar
3B
AVG/OBP/SLG.322/.370/.411
HR3
WAR1.5

Yunel Escobar is another player I was surprised to see stay put at the deadline. The Angels are out of the race and they need as much young talent as they can get, and the hot-hitting Escobar could have fetched a decent return. He's not only performing well, but he can also play shortstop or third base, and his contract includes a $7 million team option for 2017. Those are pretty friendly terms. There's a decent chance Escobar will be claimed on trade waivers this month, limiting his market. The Halos might have to wait until the offseason to trade him for maximum return.

Carlos Gonzalez
SEA • RF
AVG/OBP/SLG.321/.372/.556
HR21
WAR2.7
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Depending on who you ask, Carlos Gonzalez either has or has not let the Rockies know he would welcome a trade to a contender. Of course, the Rockies themselves can be considered a contender based on their spot in the Wild Card race. CarGo is still super productive but his contract -- he's owed the remained of his $17 million salary this season plus another $20 million next season -- guarantees he will not get claimed on trade waivers. No team would risk having that dumped on them. As always, the question is what kind of hitter will Gonzalez be when he gets out of Coors Field full-time? Teams that lost out on Jay Bruce and Josh Reddick at the deadline could explore a trade for CarGo this month.

Starting Pitchers

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The Phillies will have no trouble finding teams interested in Jeremy Hellickson in August. USATSI
Jeremy Hellickson
WAS • SP • #58
Record8-7
ERA3.70
WAR2.1
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Starting pitchers making something less than huge bucks are very difficult to slip through waivers because every single team needs pitching. The Phillies opted to keep Jeremy Hellickson at the trade deadline, saying they plan to make him a qualifying offer after the season so they can recoup a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. I'm not sure that's a great idea, but that seems to be the plan. Hellickson is having a fine year and he's owed only the remainder of his $7 million salary. It would be a shock if he doesn't get claimed on trade waivers this month.

Ian Kennedy
SP
Record6-9
ERA4.23
WAR1.5

Rumor has it the Royals tried to unload Ian Kennedy and the $62.5 million they owe him from 2017-20 by attaching him to Wade Davis at the trade deadline, but Davis' elbow injury threw a wrench into that plan. Kennedy is what he is: a serviceable back-end starter who will take the ball every fifth day. He won't get claimed because of that contract, and it's tough for me to believe Kansas City will be able to trade Kennedy without eating some money despite the general need for pitching around the league.

Ervin Santana
KC • SP • #54
Record4-9
ERA3.66
WAR2.0
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The Twins held on to Ervin Santana at the deadline despite plenty of interest. He's having a fine season and hey, bad teams need pitchers too, so keeping him makes sense. Especially since Santana is owed a reasonable $27 million from 2017-18 with a $14 million club option for 2019. The upcoming free agent pitching class is very thin and Santana may be able to fetch a larger trade package in the offseason than he will in August. I expect him to get claimed on trade waivers.

James Shields
CHW • SP • #33
Record5-13
ERA4.92
WAR-0.2
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The White Sox added James Shields in a trade with the Padres back in June, and while his tenure in Chicago started miserably, Shields has a 2.94 ERA in his last eight starts and 52 innings. As an added bonus, San Diego is paying $22 million of the $44 million owed to him from 2017-18. I don't think that's enough to get Shields claimed on trade waivers -- no one wants to risk having that remaining $22 million dumped on them -- but it could generate some legitimate trade interest.

Edinson Volquez
TEX • SP • #36
Record8-9
ERA4.70
WAR.7
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The Royals signed Edinson Volquez to a two-year, $20 million contract last offseason and they got what they wanted out of him, namely a World Series title. This season has not gone well, and with Volquez due to become a free agent after the season -- that assumes his $10 million mutual is declined, which is a safe bet because mutual options are almost always declined -- the Royals figure to continue pushing him in trade talks this month. I'm not sure if he'll slip through waivers though. A claim would limit his market to the claiming team.

Bullpen Depth

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Will a contender look to add David Hernandez to their bullpen in the coming weeks? USATSI
David Hernandez
CLE • RP
ERA4.28
K/910.6
WAR.4
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Relievers are always in demand in August. David Hernandez is having a solid year out of the bullpen for the Phillies, and would be a middle relief upgrade for many teams, especially since he's capable of coming in to a jam and escaping with strikeouts. He's on a cheap one-year contract and is prime August waiver trade fodder.

Daniel Hudson
LAD • RP • #41
ERA7.22
K/97.9
WAR-1.6
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The Diamondbacks were reported close to trading Daniel Hudson to an unknown team before the deadline, but the deal fell apart for an unknown reason. His poor numbers are the result of a brutal stretch in which he's allowed 26 runs and 40 baserunners in his last 9 2/3 innings. Egads. Hudson did have a sub-2.00 ERA as recently as June 22 though, plus he's on a cheap contact and will become a free agent after the season. It doesn't figure to cost much to acquire him if a team is willing to look beyond his recent struggles.

Jim Johnson
LAA • RP • #33
ERA3.99
K/98.0
WAR.2
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Jim Johnson is another player I didn't expect to stay put at the deadline. The Braves decided to keep him and he's having a solid season, the kind of season that will draw interest on the August waiver trade market. Johnson has a lot of end-game experience dating back to his time as Orioles closer, plus he's only owed the remainder of his $2.5 million salary, so he's cheap. The chances of Johnson being dealt this month are pretty high, I'd say.

Brandon Kintzler
PHI • RP • #19
ERA2.08
K/95.7
WAR1.1
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The Twins signed Fernando Abad to a minor league contract over the winter, got 34 good innings out of him, then flipped him for a prospect at the deadline. Brandon Kintzler was another minor league contract signing, he's had 34 2/3 good innings for the Twins, but they kept him at the deadline. He's actually serving as their closer right now. Kintzler is like a $10 bill you find on the street. The Twins could either take that $10 and buy something with it, or they could hold on to it and risk having it fall out of their pocket on the street. They found some money here. Now turn it into something useful, like a prospect.

Boone Logan
MIL • RP • #48
ERA3.19
K/99.9
WAR.8
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The bullpen trade market was pretty wild prior to the deadline, but the Rockies kept Boone Logan, likely because they're still in the Wild Card race and figure to see a ton of tough NL West lefties down the stretch (Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Corey Seager, etc.). Logan, an impending free agent, is holding left-handed hitters to a .139/.195/.222 batting line with a 33.3 percent strikeout rate this season. That's phenomenal. If Colorado falls out of the race and puts Logan on trade waivers, he'll get claimed by a team with serious interest in acquiring him.

Ryan Madson
LAD • RP • #50
ERA3.89
K/97.4
WAR.7
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There was reportedly some interest in Ryan Madson prior to the trade deadline, but not enough for the Athletics to move him. His contract -- Madson is owed $15.3 million from 2017-18 -- makes it very likely he will get through trade waivers unclaimed, meaning his trade market will be the entire league. The concern here is his injury history. Madson stayed healthy last season and so far this season, but he didn't throw a single pitch from 2012-14, and that's going to scare some teams away. No doubt about it.

David Robertson
NYM • RP • #30
ERA4.15
K/910.6
WAR.4
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David Robertson was very much on the trade block prior to the deadline. He's not having a great year and he is owed quite a bit of money ($25 million from 2017-18), so he figures to slip through waivers. That said, the Yankees claimed Robertson last August, so it's possible a team will take a shot on his track record and put in a claim. Robertson has a long history of missing bats and pitching high-leverage innings. The question is whether the White Sox get a good enough offer to move him.

Carlos Torres
WAS • RP • #51
ERA2.72
K/98.8
WAR1.3
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The Brewers traded their top two relievers, Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress, at the trade deadline earlier this week, but they held on to Carlos Torres, who they signed after he was cut loose by the Mets in spring training. Torres is having an excellent season as a rubber-armed long man and would be a pretty big upgrade over the last guy in the bullpen for many, many teams.

It's Complicated

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Jon Jay's broken forearm complicates his status as an August trade candidate. Jon Jay
Jon Jay
LAA • CF • #9
AVG/OBP/SLG.296/.345/.407
HR2
WAR1.3
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An errant pitch broke Jon Jay's forearm in mid June and he hasn't played since. He's still a few weeks away from swinging a bat too, so his return is not imminent. Prior to the injury Jay looked like an excellent trade chip because he was having a good year, he's an impending free agent owed only the remainder of his $6.85 million salary, and he's versatile enough to play all three outfield spots or hit pretty much anywhere in the lineup. Players can be traded while on the DL and some contender could look at Jay as a possible late-season help if he can get healthy reasonably soon.

Yasiel Puig
CLE • RF • #66
AVG/OBP/SLG.260/.320/.386
HR7
WAR.8
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There's no other way to put it: Yasiel Puig is a depreciating asset. His offensive productive has slipped each year since his 2013 debut, plus he's been dealing with nagging hamstring injuries since last season. On top of that, Puig is not exactly well liked within with the Dodgers organization, so much so that he was recently demoted to Triple-A in part due to his clubhouse demeanor, reportedly. That's no good. It's no secret the Dodgers are looking to trade him. I'm guessing other teams would be willing to take Puig even with all his warts -- after all, he is still only 25 and insanely talented -- but wouldn't pay full price to do so. This is a messy situation.