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Theo Epstein says you should take trade rumors with ‘a mouthful of salt’

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The Cubs exec addressed rumors at the GM meetings.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

We are in baseball’s offseason, and that means it’s also trade rumor season.

In fact, I wrote here Monday about one of those rumors.

This week, MLB executives are meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. And Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein spoke some choice words about trade rumors to reporters at the conference:

“The nature of any offseason (is) there are going to be rumors about your major-league players and even your best players, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re true. No one knows how this winter is going to evolve, even us. We have no idea what will be available to us, so take any name that comes up in trade rumor with a mouthful of salt, not just a grain. Not that they come from a malicious place, but sometimes they can have real-world negative consequences for the player and his family. So we’re going to do everything we can to operate respectfully.

“These guys whose names keep coming up in trade rumors have done a ton for our franchise and are among the best players in the world. I don’t want to do anything to make their lives more difficult. Most trade rumors out there are not true.”

“Most trade rumors out there are not true.” Words to live by, I think.

This is one reason why I don’t often write about every breathless rumor that is posted on Twitter. More important words from Theo:

“In this industry we all get compensated really well and the stakes are high,” he said. “I’m not saying the players need to be treated (with kid gloves). I don’t love the 140-character news cycle and how quick it moves.

”We’ve tried to never be part of that, and this winter in particular, you’re talking about some guys that are pretty important parts of the organization and we’re just trying to be sensitive to it. But it’s not the end of the world.”

Now, let me be clear. This is the reaction of a baseball executive to trade rumors, not a fan discussing what he or she might want to happen with his or her favorite team. I am absolutely NOT saying that we shouldn’t discuss trade possibilities, who we think might be traded or who we want to be traded, or who the Cubs might sign as a free agent. That’s all absolutely fair game for baseball fans, and for a site like this one. I have, myself, posted some articles about the possibility of Kris Bryant being traded and who the Cubs might get in return.

But just know that I do tend to agree with Theo Epstein when he says “most trade rumors out there are not true.”

With that, have at any trade discussion you’d like to have.