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Justin Smoak: Breakout Candidate

Tim Heaney of KFFL.com by way of USAToday has Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak leading his list of "Breakout Candidates for 2012."

The good news is all of the positive things that he has to say about Smoak:

Smoak hit 12 home runs during the first three months of the season. But he missed time with a thumb injury in August. Then, he broke his nose on his first day back. Smoak hit .301 with three homers and 11 RBI in 73 at-bats after his Sept. 2 return from that injury.

But then Heaney goes on to say something very weird:

His skills are starting to jell, and trade rumors are swirling. If he's sent packing to a team with a hitter-friendly ballpark, he could reach the bleachers even more.

This is the first Justin Smoak rumor that I've ever heard, including before he was actually traded to the Mariners in return for Cliff Lee. A quick search around the net has not yielded any "Smoak trade rumors," and even if there were, they certainly aren't "swirling."

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