Tigers’ Jose Iglesias, Francisco Liriano clear waivers

Detroit Tigers’ Jose Iglesias scores as Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart can’t handle the throw during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, July 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Detroit Tigers’ path to making another August trade has become more clear.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias and left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano — thought to be the team’s final two trade possibilities this month — have cleared waivers, according to multiple persons with knowledge of the situation.

Both players are now available to be traded to other teams; if either player had been claimed, the team awarded the claim would have been responsible for the remaining salary on their contracts. Both players are signed through the end of the season.

The Tigers would have had the option to pull either player back, or most preferably, work out a trade with the team awarded the claim. If a player is pulled back, he cannot be placed on revocable waivers again.

On Monday afternoon, after the Oakland Athletics claimed right-hander Mike Fiers over the weekend, he was traded for two players to be named later or cash considerations.

Though the market is not robust for either Iglesias or Liriano, a lot can happen over the next three weeks. Given they are both scheduled to hit free agency in the offseason, it stands to reason that only contending teams would be interested.

Iglesias, 28, is considered one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. This season, he is hitting .267 in 107 games. He has played much better since early May, but is likely only an option if a contending team sustains an injury. The Tigers have been open to trading Iglesias for the better part of two seasons. One team linked to him before the trade deadline — though no talks were had — was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who recently claimed Adeiny Hechavarria off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Liriano, 34, is the lone Tiger remaining who was signed as a free agent with the hopes of getting dealt by the trade deadline. Liriano started the season strong but his performance has regressed to the mean, and he is an injury risk.

A starter for the Tigers, Liriano likely fits into contending teams’ plans in the bullpen: One team in attendance for his last start against the A’s was the Boston Red Sox, who do not have a lefty in their bullpen. If a contending team sustains an injury to the starting rotation, then perhaps Liriano could be in play.

This season, he is 3-6 with a 4.37 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, with 73 strikeouts in 90 innings. Liriano signed a one-year, $4 million contract during spring training.

Also clearing waivers was starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, which is not a surprise. Zimmermann, who has pitched solidly this season, has $50 million remaining on his contract after this season.

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