Among baseball fans, everybody wants to know who's going where at the trading deadline. Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore and Houston starter Brett Myers are three of the most bandied-about names.
Unfortunately, teams are mostly still in a holding pattern, and early in the year GM's prefer to play mind games with their rivals to drive up the price on their trade chips.
Yet, despite the prevailing atmosphere of conservatism, a few significant nuggets about potential trades (or non-trades) slipped out today.
On the Felix Hernandez front, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reported today that King Felix will NOT be traded this year. The reason? According to Baker, ownership won't risk the fan revolt that a Hernandez deal could cause.
Attendance at Mariners games is already among the lowest in the league, and ownership is afraid that by dealing their best player, they'd also be dealing their main attraction and an important signal of the team's intention to improve.
However, Baker also notes that in a year from now, it will be time to "start paying real close attention" to the trade rumors. At that point, Seattle's other young talent may have matured to the point that they could deal Hernandez, get a boatload of prospects back and still have enough juice at the major league level to stay competitive.