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Ranking the Top Players Available at the MLB Trade Deadline

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Ranking the Top Players Available at the MLB Trade Deadline
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
Jon Lester is one of the best pitchers in the American League and happens to be the subject of many trade rumblings.

The July 31 MLB non-waiver trade deadline will officially be upon us Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. That gives contending teams looking to upgrade their roster three days, give or take, to acquire someone to put their club over the top.

It’s easier imagined than accomplished, however.

Part of the problem is that some of the best available players have already been moved. See the trades of Huston Street, Jeff Samardzija, Joe Thatcher and Joakim Soria, for example.

The other issue is that with the second wild card, more teams now believe that there is a chance they can make it to the postseason. Some of those clubs are fooling themselves, of course, but that is another column altogether.

Either way, there are still players left who can make a difference. This list will rank, in ascending order, the best hitters, pitchers and setup men/closers still on the MLB trade block.

In order to be considered here, a player must have been rumored to be available. We did not randomly select players; rather, the list that CBS Sports' Jon Heyman put together earlier this month was used as a launching point. 

Here are the 22 best players left as the trade rumors continue to swirl around MLB.

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