At times, the situation be distracting to a player. But Rays manager Joe Maddon said, essentially, that dealing with said rumors is just part of being a Major Leaguer.
"They just have to wear it, regardless," Maddon said. "It happens every year at this time. It happens to a lot of different teams, a lot of different players. It's just getting started. People start putting trades together on their own and then all of a sudden it gains ground because it's so easy to get your information out on the Internet these days and they think it's true.
"Players should become more accustomed to it and hopefully not be as sensitive to it because it's just going to be there. It's not going to get any better. It's just going to get worse because it's so easy to put a rumor out there and have it catch fire."
Since Maddon is an insider and therefore privy to what trade information is real and what isn't, he was asked if he and Andrew Friedman, the Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, ever sit back and "guffaw" at some of the rumors they read or hear about.
"We did," said Maddon, referring to a rumor that James Shields and Ben Zobrist were going to the Angels in return for right-hander Garrett Richards and infielder Howie Kendrick. "When we saw this one, we did [guffaw]. [Friedman] told me about it. That was pretty funny.
"I'm not denigrating Howie. He's great. He's a great guy, good player. I'm not talking in those terms. Just in general on how these things get started."
Maddon defended those in the media who stir up the rumors, noting that their job is to "create conjecture" -- even though such conjecture might not be fair to the players concerned.
"Absolutely, it's never going to be fair," Maddon said. "But as I tell people, if you're waiting for fairness, you're going to wait a really long time in general. So you have to just wear it. When you do what we do, you have to expect those kinds of things."