The current NL East situation: the Braves and Phillies are in contention, the Marlins and Mets are in the gray area, and the Nationals are out of it. Waiver trade candidates:
The Braves would have to consider letting Derek Lowe's contract go if he's claimed. Kenshin Kawakami is more likely, as he has a more modest $6.667MM salary for 2011 and is currently in the bullpen. The Braves tried to trade Kawakami over the past month, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Nate McLouth's stock is way down, as he's trying to rebuild value in Triple A. He's getting $6.25MM next year, plus another $1.25MM for a 2012 buyout.
Raul Ibanez and Brad Lidge are two Phillies who'd likely clear waivers. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Danys Baez and Greg Dobbs make it through. The Phillies' attempts to free up payroll might have to wait until the offseason though.
Though he's not going anywhere, Mets pitcher Johan Santana should clear waivers. Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez, and Jason Bay are similar stories, though Bay can't pass through waivers until he returns from the DL. Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, Jeff Francoeur, Alex Cora, and Ryota Igarashi should clear with ease. Rod Barajas, Henry Blanco, and Pedro Feliciano are trade candidates with value who could go if the Mets fall further out of contention, though Barajas would have to return from the DL first.
Could the Nationals trade Adam Dunn, especially if he slips to Type B status? Dunn's been dealt in August before, but the Reds didn't seem to value him the way the Nationals do. The Nats should see Jason Marquis, Willie Harris, and Wil Nieves clear waivers, while Ivan Rodriguez, Adam Kennedy, Miguel Batista, and Livan Hernandez could land with contenders.
For our primer on the waiver trade rules, click here.