The days and weeks leading up to the July 31st MLB trade deadline are filled with rumors, speculation, and all sorts of talk that is so far-fetched it can barely even qualify as rumor or speculation. And while most of these trades never come to pass (it seems like Tampa Bay's David Price has been on the verge of being traded for about 3 years straight now), just enough trades happen to keep things things interesting.
As the teams evaluate their seasons and their current personnel, they become buyers or sellers accordingly. And while the media and public can only guess what moves the teams front office is considering, we never truly know for sure what discussions the team was involved in barring something like what happened to the Astros at the end of June when their trade notes for an extended period were leaked. The tight-lipped nature of the general managers can cause any minor thing taken to be a sign that a player will soon be on his way to another team. And these things can be minor. Very minor.
Earlier this month, Cincinnati Reds All Star first baseman and noted Canadian Joey Votto learned a lesson on just how trivial a matter can cause some very serious rumors that even ended up on the Twitter accounts of the regional affliates of both ESPN and Fox Sports. Votto is known to be as clean and organized in his personal life as his stylish yet clean cut haircut, the likes of which has not been seen in the National League since Steve Garvey, suggests. That being said, he took advantage of an off day to straighten his locker. On the sole basis of one clean locker, by lunchtime reports from the media were already being twitted discussing how Cincy and Tampa Bay ha reached a blockbuster deal for Votto and the oft-rumored but never traded David Price. However, the always simple procedure of asking what was going on revealed that each player was staying put, no trade had been discussed, Votto has a full no-trade clause in his contract, and that people with locker room access need to be a bit more careful with the speculation when they see a clean locker.