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Trade Deadline about more than big names

These 10 players' impact exceeds their buzz
MLB.com @RichardJustice

No one saw a dynasty taking shape on Aug. 22, 2010, when the Giants put in a waiver claim for Marlins outfielder Cody Ross. That's not the usual door a World Series Most Valuable Player walks through.

As we approach the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline with a feeding frenzy of contenders working furiously to improve themselves, Ross, who was the 2010 World Series MVP, is a reminder it's not just about the big names.

No one saw a dynasty taking shape on Aug. 22, 2010, when the Giants put in a waiver claim for Marlins outfielder Cody Ross. That's not the usual door a World Series Most Valuable Player walks through.

As we approach the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline with a feeding frenzy of contenders working furiously to improve themselves, Ross, who was the 2010 World Series MVP, is a reminder it's not just about the big names.

With him in mind, let's look at 10 players who could have more impact than buzz:

1. Whit Merrifield, UT, Royals
This is the kind of occasionally overlooked player who changes teams and becomes a postseason hero. Merrifield will probably finish with around 40 doubles and 25 stolen bases, and he can play pretty much any position on the diamond. The Phillies appear to have focused on Merrifield, rather than wait out the Orioles on Manny Machado.
Possible fits: Phillies, Dodgers, Giants, Brewers, D-backs

2. Corey Dickerson, OF, Pirates
Dickerson's power numbers are down dramatically after hitting 51 home runs the past two seasons, but he's a potential difference-maker for a team looking to add a left-handed bat to the middle of the lineup.
Possible fits: D-backs, Indians, Rockies

Video: MIL@CIN: Dickerson drills a solo home to right

3. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets
Wheeler has healthy for the first time in four years and is pitching as well as he has at any time in his career (3.20 ERA in his past seven starts before Monday, when he allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings). At 28, he finally may be the guy we expected when he was the sixth pick of the 2009 MLB Draft. Some teams will shy away because of Wheeler's injury history. Given the lack of available quality starting pitching, he could also be a hot commodity.
Possible fits: Yankees, Brewers, Braves

4. Matt Harvey, RHP, Reds
Wouldn't it be something if this guy ended up being the hero of the postseason? After all Harvey has gone through, he is showing he's far from done and potentially about to write a nice second chapter to his career (1.88 ERA with three walks and 18 strikeouts in his past 24 innings). Don't even think of Harvey pitching for the Yankees in the postseason -- heads would explode.
Possible fits: Yankees, Nationals, Dodgers, Brewers

Video: MIL@CIN: Harvey tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings, K's 6

5. Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Tigers
First, the good news: Zimmermann is healthy and looking exactly like the guy who anchored the Nationals' rotation for most of his seven seasons with them. If you're looking for a quality starter, there may not be a better option available at a reasonable price. What must be negotiated isn't players, as much as the remaining $50 million left on his contract in 2019 and '20. With teams mindful of luxury tax implications, this could be a killer, unless the Tigers are willing to include a large check in the trade.
Possible fits: Athletics, Mariners

6. J.T. Realmuto, C, Marlins
The Marlins have indicated they'd like to sign Realmuto to a contract extension and build the franchise around him. Here's an opposing viewpoint: Use him to continue building, because he will bring a load of prospects. With Brian McCann injured, the Astros are said to be extremely interested.
Possible fits: Astros, Nationals, Red Sox

Video: Realmuto to represent Marlins at 2018 All-Star Game

7. Wilson Ramos, C, Rays
If the Nationals knew then what they know now, Ramos might still be playing for them. He might end up back there anyway by the Trade Deadline as one of those players who is most appreciated after he's gone. Ramos' second All-Star selection is an appropriate finishing touch on a long comeback from a knee injury that limited him to 64 games last season.
Possible fits: Nationals, Red Sox

8. Craig Stammen, RHP, Padres
They've built themselves a powerhouse of a bullpen in San Diego, and it'll be interesting to see who general manager A.J. Preller deals. Lefty closer Brad Hand is the most sought-after guy, but Stammen, 34, could be a tremendous addition for someone's bullpen. He basically could find a home with any contender.
Possible fits: Indians, Mariners, Red Sox

9. Mychal Givens, RHP, Orioles
Can you say "change of scenery" candidate? Givens has pitched better than the overall numbers indicate, no thanks to a couple of tough outings. On the positive side, right-handed hitters are batting .232 off him this year, with zero home runs in 114 plate appearances.
Possible fits: Giants, Dodgers, Astros

Video: Givens could provide bullpen help where needed

10. Shin-Soo Choo, DH, Rangers
The Rangers know they'll have to pick up some of the $42 million Choo has left on his contract the next two seasons. That's the only issue -- and a big one. He's also the kind of player who can deepen a lineup -- especially an American League lineup -- enough to be an October difference-maker.
Possible fits: Indians, Rays, Rockies, Giants

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Shin-Soo Choo, Corey Dickerson, Mychal Givens, Matt Harvey, Whit Merrifield, Wilson Ramos, J.T. Realmuto, Craig Stammen, Zack Wheeler, Jordan Zimmermann