Searching for starters, closers, power bats

Addressing the single biggest needs for contending teams as the trading deadline draws closer.

Originally Published: July 7, 2005
By Sean McAdam | Special to ESPN.com

The ink is barely dry on the All-Star ballots, and already the focus is on the July 31 trading deadline, which is closer than you might think.

With just over three weeks to go, teams are assessing needs, making phone calls and positioning themselves to make improvements for the final two months of the regular season.

So many teams are still in contention -- nominally, at least -- that there aren't many pure sellers. But that won't stop the many buyers from trying.

Here's a look ...

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