The NL Central picture: the Reds and Cardinals are in the race, and the Brewers, Astros, Cubs, and Pirates are out. Waiver trade candidates:
Reds closer Francisco Cordero will probably clear waivers, though he's unlikely to change teams. I view Bronson Arroyo as a similar case. The Reds could use the depth Aaron Harang will provide when he returns from the disabled list from back spasms, though the chance to shed the remainder of his contract would be appealing.
Newly acquired Cardinal Jake Westbrook might clear waivers, not that he'll be dealt again. Kyle Lohse should make it through, if he returns from forearm surgery this month. Skip Schumaker, signed at $2.7MM for next year, could clear waivers as well.
The Brewers should expect Randy Wolf, Trevor Hoffman, David Riske, and LaTroy Hawkins to clear waivers. Perhaps GM Doug Melvin will try to place the a few of the relievers with contenders. Dave Bush and Jim Edmonds are two who might be claimed.
The Astros can count on Carlos Lee, Pedro Feliz, and Brandon Lyon clearing waivers. Most likely Brian Moehler, Tim Byrdak, and Geoff Blum will clear as well. Perhaps one of the cheaper veterans will be dealt.
A host of Cubs figure to clear waivers: Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Kosuke Fukudome, and Derrek Lee. Of that group I'd say Fukudome has the best chance of going. Aramis Ramirez may get through. He was starting to heat up but recently aggravated a thumb injury. There's a good chance Xavier Nady clears waivers and is traded.
The Pirates don't have many moderate-sized contracts; newly-acquired Chris Snyder could get through waivers. Ryan Doumit should also clear once he returns from the DL, and he does appear to be a trade candidate.
For our primer on the waiver trade process, click here.