Top 10 Hitters Who Could be Available At 2013 MLB Trade Deadline

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Top 10 Available Hitters At 2013 MLB Trade Deadline

Anthony Gruppuso - USA Today Sports

Many teams will be looking to upgrade right before the trade deadline coming up on July 31. Some teams might be looking for a left-handed bat off the bench, some might be looking for a utility infielder, some might be looking for a pinch runner/defensive specialist and others will be looking to land the big one.

Last year, the San Francisco Giants made a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies to acquire Hunter Pence right before the deadline. The Phillies decided Pence would be too expensive as he would be arbitration eligible, and the Giants gave up a few prospects to get him. I think it paid off as the Giants won the World Series and the Phillies look primed to rebuild over the next couple of years.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics are examples of those small-market teams that have been sellers during this time of year in the past. This year, they will certainly be buyers. Teams like this are making calls looking for that one piece they need that will be the key to a World Series run.

Thankfully for these teams, the big names as well as some of the situational guys will be out there and available. Big-time teams like the Chicago Cubs and the Phillies could be sellers soon if they don’t turn their seasons around. With three weeks left to find out, here are the top 10 hitters who could be available at the trade deadline.

Zach Slotter is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook page or add him on Google.

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10. Raul Ibanez

Tim Heitman - USA Today Sports

Raul Ibanez is having a bit of resurgence in his reunion with the Seattle Mariners, belting 21 home runs. He would be a great option as a DH or a bat off the bench for a contender.

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9. Andre Ethier

Richard Mackson - USA Today Sports

With the phenomenon known as Yasiel Puig now in town, the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t have much need for Andre Ethier. He is still a serviceable player who could contribute in a reduced role with a playoff team.

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8. Alex Rios

Rob Grabowski - USA Today Sports

Alex Rios started off hot but has cooled off since the beginning of the year. He still has 11 home runs and 16 stolen bases on the year and could help in all three outfield positions.

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7. Paul Konerko

Jesse Johnson - USA Today Sports

Paul Konerko has been around with the Chicago White Sox for the better part of 14 seasons. But the White Sox are approaching a rebuilding period and as sad as it might be, it might be time to part ways with the slugger if they can get a couple of prospects for him.

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6. Michael Young

Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Michael Young would be part of the Phillies' fire sale if it takes place. He is having a decent year and his versatility to play all four infield positions would entice any contending team.

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5. Justin Morneau

David Richard - USA Today Sports

Justin Morneau has battled back from concussions to put together a productive year. His power is gone but he has driven in 50 runs, and his defense is solid at first base.

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4. Chase Headley

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

Chase Headley was the target of trade rumors last year and all offseason. The asking price from the Padres has just been too high, but the third baseman has plenty of talent and this might finally be the time for the Padres to deal him.

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3. Michael Cuddyer

Ron Chenoy - USA Today Sports

Michael Cuddyer just ended a 27-game hitting streak recently and has been tearing the cover off the ball with a .339 batting average. He can play up to five different positions on the diamond and will certainly be one of the most coveted players at the deadline.

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2. Chase Utley

Eric Hartline - USA Today Sports

Chase Utley is a Philly lifer and a hometown favorite, but Ruben Amaro Jr. proved that didn’t matter last year when he shipped Shane Victorino out of town. If they can get equal talent, Utley will be gone. Finally healthy, Utley has been very productive this year batting .281 with 11 home runs.

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1. Alfonso Soriano

Joe Nicholson - USA Today Sports

Another name that surfaces year after year, Alfonso Soriano will once again be a hot topic come the end of July. His defense is suspect at best, but the guy has a ton of pop left in his bat. He has 12 home runs and 43 RBIs on the year, and the Cubs would certainly like to move him if they can get a team to take on most or all of his remaining salary.