Every team had a different goal in mind as the calendar advanced to July 31.
Some teams approached the trade deadline hoping to make a big splash and shake up a playoff race.
Several contenders sought to add specific role players, while teams who had given up hope for the season tried to pawn off expensive veterans in exchange for prospects and salary relief.
Then there are the clubs who are content to stand pat, but they're boring.
It's way too early to definitively judge any given deal; we won't know what impact an acquired player will have on the 2010 season until a new champion is crowned, and it may be more than five years before a traded prospect makes his former team regret sending him away.
But that doesn't mean we can't speculate.
In this slideshow are the five teams who did the best job of meeting their various goals in the run-up to the deadline. They are the buyers who helped their playoff chances without risking the farm and the sellers who have raised their hopes for the future, or somewhere in between—clubs who successfully identified and exploited inefficiencies in the trade market.