The July 31 deadline has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the trades will stop. Teams can still make deals, but it won’t be as easy since all players involved must first pass through revocable waivers. Still, this month promises to be busy, and plenty of big names could be available.

Before delving into who could be on the move, here’s a quick primer on how revocable waivers work:

  • Players can be claimed by opposing teams in order of record from worst to best in each league.
  • If a player passes through waivers unclaimed, it’s business as usual and he can be traded to any team.
  • If a player is claimed, teams have three options: 1) Pull the player back from waivers, meaning he cannot be traded until the season is over; 2) Work out a trade with the team that placed the claim within 48 hours; or 3) Let the player go to the team that claimed him for nothing.
  • Teams that acquire a player on revocable waivers become responsible for 100 percent of their contract. This makes the waiver process a risky game, as it can result in teams getting stuck with an expensive, unwanted contract after putting in a claim to block a rival (the most famous example being San Diego’s ill-fated claim of Randy Myers in 1998).
  • Players must be traded before 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31 to be eligible for the postseason.

Got all that? Good. Here are six candidates who could be traded in August.

Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays 3B

This has been a nightmare of a contract year for the former AL MVP. Instead of heading into the offseason as one of the headliners in a stacked free-agent class, Donaldson is a huge question mark; he’s played in just 36 games due to shoulder and calf issues and remains on the disabled list.

Still, he appears to be on track to return to the Blue Jays at some point in August, and is a proven star with the ability to help a contender down the stretch. His $23-million salary and injury issues ensure he will go through waivers unclaimed, but assuming his health checks out, there’s no reason why Toronto won’t be able to find a taker before he hits the open market.

Jose Bautista, Mets OF/IF

The resurgence of Joey Bats has been one of the Mets’ few bright spots this year. After looking finished during a brief stint in Atlanta, the 37-year-old found a part of himself in Queens, slashing .228/.376/.414 with six homers and 12 doubles. If he doesn’t clear waivers, Bautista will likely be claimed by a contender who could use his hot bat, positional versatility (he’s not a strong defender but can play the corner infield and outfield positions), and immense postseason experience. The Mets should get something – even international bonus money – in return for this modest investment before the season’s out.

Ervin Santana, Twins SP

Santana only made his season debut last week due to a finger injury, so ignore his 6.10 ERA crafted over two starts. His $14-million option is unlikely to be exercised this winter whether he’s traded or not, so the Twins would like to get something for him, and that salary figure should help push him through waivers. While Santana has had an inconsistent career at times, he is only one year removed from an All-Star campaign; so long as his finger holds up, he could bolster a contender’s rotation down the stretch and would likely come at a lower cost.

Adrian Beltre, Rangers 3B

Beltre can block any potential trade as a 10-and-5 player, and the future Hall of Famer has already indicated he wants to finish his career with the Rangers. But, circumstances can change, and if the 39-year-old decides he wants one last chance at winning a ring, there will be no shortage of suitors. The Atlanta Braves were reportedly discussing a deal ahead of the non-waiver deadline, and they could come into play again; Boston is also looking for third-base help after Rafael Devers’ injury. Ultimately, Beltre holds all the cards here and if he wants to play it out with Texas he has the right to do so, but the odds are he’ll have at least one more chance to accept a trade before August is over.

Andrew McCutchen, Giants OF

The Giants are stuck in limbo, and though they didn’t make a move on Tuesday, they could still be busy in August. McCutchen, a pending free agent, looks like an excellent candidate to be moved if they fall out of the race: he’s a household name and former MVP who’d bring postseason pedigree to any team. His production might even benefit from escaping AT&T Park, where he’s hit just three of his 11 homers this season. The Indians were linked to McCutchen last month and could still use an outfield bat; they’ll also have the first chance among AL contenders to put in a claim and, at the very least, block him from joining a rival.

Matt Harvey, Reds SP

Since joining the Reds in May, Harvey has rediscovered some of his old form, and as a result, his name quickly popped up in trade rumors. He’s still in Cincinnati for now, but remains a plausible August trade candidate as a pending free agent who’d come at a marginal cost. Although his $5.625-million salary isn’t as cumbersome as some other names on this list, the specter of his immediate past with the Mets and pending free agency still make him a likely candidate to go unclaimed. He’d probably best fit a team like the Athletics, who still need another starter and are always fiscally conscious.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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