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According to the Chicago Sun Times, outfielder Jacque Jones was due to be traded Monday, or as soon as can possibly be arranged.

The Padres are among the teams rumored to have some interest. Why, I have no idea, but who knows how these rumors get started. Actually, one way is someone on the inside making something up, telling one person, causing a game of telephone to unfold — an agent for a player about to be moved, for example, or an executive inside another baseball organization, with a competing interest.

Rumors also spread when as few as one guy someplace puts two and two together to make four, even if he’s just guessing on the four. This particular someone, in this scenario, thinks the Pads need an increased offensive presence in the outfield, and knows that the Cubs want Jones gone. He then concludes Jones is going to San Diego, whether there is sufficient, or even the slightest piece of evidence to suggest the Padres have even considered such a deal.

I don’t know about you, but I’m giving Kevin Towers a hell of a lot more credit than the guy spreading the rumor. Jacque Jones? No way.

The Padres have also been mentioned in Troy Glaus rumors. Same kind of thing here. Kevin Kouzmanoff notwithstanding, all it takes is one individual, anywhere on Earth, putting the notion together, if only in his own head. Might be Glaus’ agent who started the story, or a Blue Jays flack, or a reporter who thinks he has a source. Stranger things have happened, believe me.

Of course, even the people predicting earthquakes get it right once in awhile. I mean, if you call it every single day, eventually it’s going to happen. But that doesn’t make you a sage.

Meanwhile, there’s videotape of Nomar Garciaparra taking grounders at third base, which might or might not mean a thing. Perhaps the Dodgers want Glaus, and are trying to drive the price down. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

Ken Rosenthal, of FoxSports.com says the following:

The Padres, Dodgers and Angels each would benefit from the addition of a power-hitting third baseman. Each also build a trade package around a highly regarded prospect at third.

The Jays could ask the Padres for Chase Headley, the Dodgers for Andy LaRoche, the Angels for Brandon Wood. They also could seek pitching, then use their savings to invest in other players during the off-season.

Rosenthal’s a great reporter, but even he doesn’t go as far as to say “according to a reliable source.”

My guess is that if Towers makes a move for a hitter, he’ll go for an outfielder, and stick with Kouzmanoff. It just won’t be Jacque Jones. Milton Bradley isn’t the answer either, but we’ll save Bradley for another blog.

— HOWARD COLE

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