MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Power Ranking the 5 Best Trades from July

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IJuly 31, 2012

MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Power Ranking the 5 Best Trades from July

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    The 2012 MLB Trade Deadline certainly featured plenty of exciting action.

    Big name players like Kevin Youkilis, Zack Greinke, Hanley Ramirez and Hunter Pence will be moving on to new teams and into new playoff races.

    Several teams made excellent trades that will make them tough to beat the rest of this season.

    Let’s take a look at the top five trades in Major League Baseball for the month of July.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire Wandy Rodriguez

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    The Pirates found themselves in an unusual position at the 2012 MLB Trade Deadline; they were buyers, not sellers.

    Given their new position in a playoff chase, they certainly made a great deal to address a major need.

    Getting Wandy Rodriguez gives them a legitimate ace and helps them not only this year, but into the future as well.

    The Pirates showed that they weren’t scared to spend money for once, and it should lead to an exciting chase for the NL Central crown.

4. San Francisco Giants Get Hunter Pence

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    The Giants needed a big hitter, and they got one in Pence.

    Sure, Pence has been struggling this year, but a change of scenery and a pennant chase will do him good.

    The Giants really needed to make a big move to keep up with the Dodgers’ flurry of deadline deals, so this was a smart deal.

    The fact that the best player they had to give up was outfielder Nate Schierholtz only sweetens this deal for the Giants.

3. Los Angeles Angels Trade for Zack Greinke

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    The Angels needed to do something to keep up with the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and they did just that by acquiring the best pitcher on the market.

    Greinke will solidify the Angels’ rotation and will help them catch up to Texas and put distance between themselves and the surprising Oakland A’s.

    The light-hitting A’s won’t be able to keep up with a rotation featuring C.J. Wilson, Dan Haren, Jered Weaver and Greinke.

    These dynamic pitchers will also help slow down Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and the rest of the Rangers’ powerful offense.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers Steal Hanley Ramirez

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    The Dodgers were the busiest team at the trade deadline, acquiring players like Shane Victorino and Brandon League.

    But, their biggest acquisition was shortstop/third baseman Hanley Ramirez, who was basically stolen from the Miami Marlins.

    After a disappointing start to the 2012 season, the Marlins were probably a little bit too eager to dump players and start over.

    The Dodgers were more than happy to snatch up Ramirez for a couple minor leaguers, addressing a huge need on the left side of their infield.

1. Chicago White Sox Deal for Kevin Youkilis

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    The White Sox had received nothing from their third basemen before trading for Kevin Youkilis.

    Considering they only had to give up infielder Brent Lillibridge (who has since been traded by the Red Sox) and pitcher Zach Stewart to get this deal done, it was a no-brainer.

    General manager Kenny Williams has been very aggressive at this year’s trade deadline, and he’s put the Sox in excellent position for an AL Central crown.

    It won't be easy, especially with the hard-hitting Detroit Tigers breathing down their necks, but it's certainly possible.