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Insider

MLB's top under-the-radar targets at the trade deadline

Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar could help a lot of different contenders at a lot of different positions. Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

The trade deadline is an exciting time. Even though it's still possible to make trades in August, it's a lot more complicated, so July 31 brings a certain sense of urgency. It's an exciting time for the teams themselves, and it's an exciting time for the fans who follow them, because what the trade deadline suggests is possibility. Virtually endless possibility. Anyone might be lost, and anyone might be acquired. The baseball calendar doesn't offer many periods of such stress and frenzied activity.

This year's biggest fish might have already been moved. The Orioles didn't waste too much time in trading Manny Machado. The Padres, of course, already moved Brad Hand and Adam Cimber, the Mets already moved Jeurys Familia, and the Yankees are on the verge of getting Zach Britton from the Orioles. The Rays already moved Alex Colome and Denard Span. The Royals already moved Kelvin Herrera. Nevertheless, notable names remain out there. Chris Archer has become the subject of rumors. You're going to read more rumors surrounding familiar players like Cole Hamels and Mike Moustakas.

There's a lot for teams to do, and there are a lot of ways to get those things done. For teams looking to make second-half improvements, there's a collection of players who have been the subjects of prominent rumors for a while. Some players believed to be on the trade market have generated plenty of attention. I'm here to shed light on some others; to point out some under-the-radar values who could make a major difference in the months ahead for an acquiring team. You might not have heard much about the following players. Any or all could make an impact. We'll proceed in alphabetical order, and let me warn you ahead of time that relief pitchers are overrepresented. As it is in this article, so it will be in the playoffs.