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Trade deadline RumblingsBy Jayson Stark



It might be early. But right now, the nominees for the prospective All-Rumor Central team in this July's trade circus look as if they might give new meaning to the "dead" in deadline.

Just try to pick out this year's Carlos Beltran, this year's Bartolo Colon, this year's July difference maker. Good luck finding him.

"I don't know if that guy is there this year," one assistant general manager says. "Maybe it's Aubrey Huff. I know that's not a sexy name, because you don't get much defense out of him. But stack up his numbers from the last couple of years. They stack up against just about anybody's."

Oh, you'll hear other names, bigger names: Roger Clemens? Barry Zito? Jason Schmidt? They might make it into Rumor Central. But we wouldn't bet your season tickets on any of them going anywhere.

The odds of Clemens moving look worse all the time. An official of one club monitoring the A's says he "just can't see them moving Zito." And an executive who asked about Schmidt says that while the Giants might listen, they're "not in the mind-set to say, 'Let's blow this up and start over.'"

So, who does that leave as the most famous name on the shelves? Preston Wilson?

He qualifies only as The Biggest Name Who Is All But Certain To Get Moved. But is he really an official difference maker?

An official of one team with interest says: "Put him in the right spot in the right lineup, and you've got something. He's one guy out there who's got a little thunder."

But Wilson has his skeptics, too. One AL assistant GM says: "I don't understand all the commotion over Preston Wilson. That baffles me. He's not the same."

Eric Chavez? Not available. Mike Sweeney? Hurt again

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