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As trade deadlines near, it’s reader beware when monitoring media speculation

It’s that time of year again in Major League Baseball. The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31, and the final trade deadline (which requires a player pass through waivers) is August 30. From this point until August 30, baseball fans should prepare themselves for the standard speculation, some of which is credible yet most of which is unfounded.

It is difficult to tell which media sources are reliable and which ones are posting rumors solely to fill space. ESPN’s Buster Olney, for example, seems to fall into the latter category. His trade-related columns are best to be ignored.

The most comprehensive resource to monitor trade talks is MLBTradeRumors.com, which is a one-stop shop for trade-related articles regarding all 30 major league teams. The site is heavily visited and it likely saw a bump in traffic today when it was reported by Bob Nightengale of the USA Today that the Red Sox and Marlins are discussing a trade that would ship Carl Crawford to Miami for Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported earlier today that the Red Sox are contacting clubs to determine their interest in Crawford, who signed a seven-year, $142 million contract after the 2010 season.

That teams would have interest in Crawford right now would be surprising since he has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and the left fielder says that doctors told him he will have to undergo Tommy John surgery at some point.

On Tuesday, Crawford was 3-for-4 with three stolen bases, two runs and an RBI.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington denied that the team is shopping Crawford.

Chances are, Rosenthal’s rumor about Crawford is the typical wild speculation that is prevalent in July and August, and during the off-season, in the baseball media.

The two trade deadlines are nearing. Reader beware.

By Jeff Louderback
Thursday, 19 Jul 2012

 

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