MLB Trade Deadline 2014: Ranking the Top 10 Players Rumored to Be Available

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MLB Trade Deadline 2014: Ranking the Top 10 Players Rumored to Be Available
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Only a few times over baseball's regular season are fans from all 30 teams actively engaged with the goings-on around their team.

The days leading up to the July 31 trade deadline is one of those times.

Fans of teams out of the running want expensive veterans traded for younger talent that could help bring future success, while those who cheer for teams unsure of their contending status just want to see someone make a decision.

For fans that cheer for a contender, they want to know what moves their team has planned to plug holes on the roster. They wonder if their team will be able to acquire an impact player without having to mortgage its future. 

When it comes to impact players that are available, they are few and far between.

Some players, like Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki, have been the subject of speculation but lack a credible rumor to back up any claim that they are available. You won't find Tulo or other players that fall under that umbrella here.

Others, like Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (via ESPN's Buster Olney), have seen their teams say they aren't being traded.

We might not believe the Phillies completely on that one, but they say he's not on the market—so he's not on our list either.

Of the players that remain, how do we determine who is the best of the best?

While we'll take a number of factors into consideration—a player's age, contract, future production and what it might cost a contender to work out a deal—the major factor in our rankings is a player's current level of production and his potential impact on this year's playoff races.

So who is the most valuable player that could be wearing a new uniform in just over a week?

Let's find out.

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