The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline ended July 31, but that hasn't prohibited teams from acquiring players. There were several trades made Aug. 31, but the biggest saw veteran right-hander Justin Verlander going to the Houston Astros.
Verlander, 34, pitched well for the Detroit Tigers this season with a 3.82 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 176 strikeouts, so I don't think this has much of a fantasy impact, especially since he will remain in the American League. There's a chance going from a bad team to one of the best in baseball will give Verlander a little boost, but he has allowed more than three runs in a start once since July 8, so he's already been solid for fantasy owners.
The calendar has officially turned to September, which means there is one more month in the fantasy baseball season. It also means rosters expand from the normal 25-man limit. Teams that are out of playoff contention will look more toward playing prospects, which can impact fantasy owners in a lot of different ways. We will try to identify these situations during the next month so everyone finishes their season strong.
St. Louis Cardinals Second Baseman Kolten Wong -- The 26-year-old has cracked this list before but still remains available on the waiver wire despite having a monster August. The second baseman hit .347 with three home runs, 18 RBIs, 19 runs scored and three stolen bases this past month. Those are the type of stats any fantasy owner could benefit from. Wong has batted at different spots in the lineup, which is frustrating for a player that has been as hot as he has, but he still has produced outstanding numbers even when he has batted lower in the lineup.
Colorado Rockies Reliever Jake McGee -- Greg Holland can be considered one of the better draft picks in fantasy baseball this season due to easily outperforming his average draft position. The right-hander has converted 36 saves in 2017 when many didn't even know if he would be the closer when the season began. However, the veteran struggled in August, which has opened the door for McGee. The left-hander has converted two saves in the past week and it appears he is the Rockies' closer for now. As we know, closers, even temporarily, should not be left on the waiver wire.
Los Angeles Angels Reliever Blake Parker -- Parker has converted three saves since Aug. 26 and it appears he has taken over ninth-inning duties for the Angels. The right-hander has pitched well this season, with a 2.14 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. He can give fantasy owners a nice boost down the stretch for those searching for saves in the final month.
Pittsburgh Pirates Starting Pitcher Tyler Glasnow -- It appears the talented right-hander will be given a couple of starts in the final month, and his strikeout upside makes him a viable waiver-wire target. The 24-year-old was demoted in June after struggling with command and pitching to a 7.45 ERA, but he fixed the issue in the minors. Glasnow pitched to a 2.06 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and an eye-popping 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings in Triple-A. I understand the hesitation from fantasy owners with Glasnow, because it he reverts back to his early-season form, it will be tough to overcome with only a couple weeks remaining. However, if the Pirates do give him a couple starts in September, the strikeout upside may be worth it.
Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Aaron Altherr -- Oh, what could have been for the talented Altherr if he had remained healthy. Altherr has been limited to 87 games this season due to hamstring issues, but has hit .285 with 16 home runs, 49 RBIs, 47 runs scored and five stolen bases. Altherr is expected to return soon, and due to his numerous injuries, many fantasy owners have dropped him. There's a strong chance Altherr can provide a nice power boost during the final month.