1. Is it not past the Trade Deadline?
It ended 4:00 PM today, Eastern. So if somebody around midnight starts squawking on Twitter that Marlon Byrd is Bronx-bound or that the Dodgers have shipped Matt Kemp somewhere, they are WRONG. In theory such things could happen if they put them through waivers first, but it’s unlikely to happen this soon after the non-waiver deadline.
2. Is it an actual account?
Because, really, if MLB Network, Jim Bowden and ESPN all fell for various fake Twitter accounts today, so can you. Before you retweet that hot news about Joe Superstar going to City X for Prospect Z, check to see how many followers that account has (I’m going to doubt that the real Buster Olney only has 12 followers), and whether the seemingly-lower-case “L” at the end of “Rosenthal” is actually a upper-case “i” or a | symbol. Unusual spaces in the name or unprofessional profiles are also another clue.
3. Are other people confirming it? Is the team confirming it?
If all of Baseball Twitter is in agreement that the trade has happened, it probably is true. If the team says it happened, it definitely is true.
4. Don’t get fooled by obviously fake trades. The Yankees and Red Sox haven’t traded with each other one-on-one since 1997 and they aren’t going to start now.
5. Also, assume any trade by Ruben Amaro Jr. of the Phillies is fake, especially if it involves any players from the team’s late-aughts glory years.
Because, seriously, after this year, I’ve come to the conclusion that Amaro won’t get rid of them until they retire.