Trade Speculation Reaching Fever Pitch as National Pundits, Fake Accounts Stir Pot

Trade season in any professional sport is like some bastardized form of Halloween, or maybe just a virtual fan convention in which people cosplay national writers in order to fool people with fake rumors. They’ll use the same avatar as the journalist in question and will change the name enough to throw you off if you’re only glancing at the handle.

Then you’ve got the anonymous randos who materialize out of the ether to provide reports that some folks take seriously. Of course, those same folks probably didn’t say the name “Mike Hawk” aloud to catch the obvious parody.

To be fair, there’s a much higher — or is it lower — threshold for credence after the dynamic duo of wetbutt23 and KatyPerrysBootyHole broke the news of the José Quintana trade on reddit. Imagine trying to explain that last sentence to someone who is not very online. Even with the understanding that just about anyone can scoop the big boys with the right connections and timing, I think it’s safe to say Mr. Hawk is having a little fun.

If veracity is your jam, it’s still best to stick with the tried and true names whose connections run deeper than just their wifi. I’d also be wary of nationally-platformed reporters who simply tweet out full texts from agents and team reps without bothering to edit them.

So while it shouldn’t be confused with an actual report, Buster Olney’s predictions during ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball can’t be completely ignored. Olney believes Craig Kimbrel will end up with the Dodgers and that Anthony Rizzo will head back to the Red Sox, who had originally drafted him back in 2007. Either Javier Báez or Kris Bryant could end up with the Mets, he added.

It should be noted that none of those ideas are novel and some of them have actually been widely speculated for at least the last few days, so Olney may simply be trafficking in hype. After all, the idea of the Cubs moving at least two of their big three core players on expiring deals doesn’t seem to have gotten much traction recently. It could still happen, sure, but there’s a sense that the market won’t facilitate such a teardown.

As we wait to see what happens, just be careful to check the name and handle of the source from which you’re getting your rumors.

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