Players look to keep focus as Deadline nears

Players look to keep focus as Deadline nears

SEATTLE -- With Major League Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline now less than 24 hours away, reports continue circulating that the Mariners are talking to clubs about reliever Brandon League as well as others.

Manager Eric Wedge said players have no choice but to keep their focus on baseball until the deadline passes at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

"I think it's always a little bit different the last couple days before the Trade Deadline, but that's in every clubhouse," Wedge said. "The veteran clubhouses usually handle it best because they've been down that road before. Our guys have been all right for the most part."

The Mariners are certainly not a veteran clubhouse. With Ichiro Suzuki already dealt to the Yankees, the Mariners average age is now the third-youngest among American League teams at 28.1. Only Kansas City (26.6) and Oakland (27.8) are younger.

But part of the growth process is learning how to deal with the annual Trade Deadline and its rumors.

"It's just part of being a big leaguer, part of being a pro," Wedge said. "It's part of the territory and it's always going to come around every year. You just have to handle it.

"Wherever you are is where you are. You just have to keep your mind in the moment, focus on the task at hand and do what you have to do. Our guys are here and playing for the Mariners. We're proud to have 'em. Let's go out and win a ballgame."

If the young Mariners need an example, they can look to veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood. The 37-year-old is among those whose name is being tossed out as a potential trade candidate, but he's not spending any time thinking about it.

"That's just another thing I can't control, so I try not to worry about things like that," Millwood said. "Whatever happens, happens."

And as Wedge noted, more often than not, nothing happens.

"It's just all over the place," Wedge said. "It's all speculation. It is what it is. Ninety-five times out of 100, there's not much truth to what's out there, so you just have to wait and see."