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July 31 is a very important date in Major League Baseball. It marks the MLB non-waiver trade deadline.
When the clock strikes 4 p.m. ET on the last day of July, teams become restricted in the moves they can make. Trades can still take place in August but the deals must be passed through waivers. Furthermore, teams are allowed to make trade deals in September but the players acquired in these deals will be ineligible for the playoffs.
In essence, July 31 has become the de facto deadline for deals. This makes it so crucial for teams that want to make a push for the playoffs to make a move before it's too late.
Additionally, the end of July marks the last time a team can rid itself of an expiring contract before the player becomes a free agent at the end of the season. The biggest name left on the trading block falls under this category. Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester has been rumored to be a prized trade option for several teams but has remained in Boston.
With only a few hours left before the deadline, all eyes will be peeled to see where Lester will finish out the season. If he does get dealt on July 31, the move would rank as one of the biggest July 31 trades. So, in honor of the MLB trade deadline, here is a ranking of the top 10 July 31 deals from the last six years.