A small whirlwind of rumors burst onto the scene this week involving some of the Phillies' key pieces.
The Dodgers' interest in Jonathan Papelbon seemed to have the most legs - the expensive closer's contract would not be as big of a deal to the wealthy Dodgers, and the recent imploding of Brian Wilson indicated a need for late inning relief help to back up Kenley Jansen.
The Mariners are on the hunt for some offense and are looking to fill an outfield spot to do so. Initially, they were linked to the readily available Marlon Byrd, whose two-year, $16 million deal didn't scare them.
And the Red Sox were supposed to be in on Cole Hamels, one of the less likely players for the Phillies to trade. A package from Boston would have to be especially stimulating to pry Hamels away; and at the very least, it would be worth a look.
But then, just as they appeared, the rumors each dissolved, as they tend to do this time of year. Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles had originally reported L.A.'s interest in Papelbon, but late yesterday pulled back, and tweeted that the Dodgers were not coming for the Phillies closer after all.
Byrd revealed he had a four-team no-trade c;ause in his contract, and Seattle was on the list. He may have been convinced to waive it, but the Mariners have greater interest in many other places - Tampa's Ben Zobrist, Minnesota's Josh Willingham, and Chicago's Dayan Viciendo.
The Phillies squashed any Hamels rumors themselves - a "major league source" talking to Red Sox writer for Boston's WEEI, Rod Bradford, said that the Phillies did not want to trade their 30-year-old lefty ace.
"As a concept, it makes sense," writes Red Sox beat writer Scott Lauber for the Boston Herald. "For now, though, it's only a concept."