Breaking down the July deals

Both the Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt deals could be measured in the playoffs. Getty Images

The 2010 MLB trade deadline has been one of the more interesting ones in recent memory. Teams engaged in a flurry of activity, making deals major and minor. Money changed hands in a number of deals, with the sellers helping pay the salaries of veterans under long-term contracts. It also seemed like every serious contender added a piece or two to help make their late-season runs. Here are some of the more significant deals that happened in July.

Rangers acquire Cliff Lee and Cristian Guzman

The Rangers made the biggest splash of the season a few weeks ago when they acquired Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Justin Smoak. While that does open up a hole at first base that Chris Davis, their Opening Day first baseman, must fill, it also helps bolster the rotation, placing it among the strongest units in the American League. The move has all but guaranteed their place atop the AL West.

The Lee move also not only helps them upgrade their rotation, but it provides insurance in case a few other pitchers don't work out. C.J. Wilson has had an excellent year in the rotation but hasn't pitched this many innings since 2003. If he fades down the stretch, the Rangers can still lean on Lee. Same with Tommy Hunter, who has been pitching better than his peripherals would indicate (3.31 ERA, 4.77 FIP). If anything happens to them, Lee still gives the Rangers a good chance.

Phillies acquire Roy Oswalt