Updated: July 28, 2010, 11:09 AM ET

Keep up with ESPN's reporters and analysts, as they track down all of the latest news and information leading up to the trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET on July 31.

Daily Rumble: Werth believes he's staying put

Stark By Jayson Stark
It's tough to remember this sort of thing this time of year, so we'll remind you:

On the other end of every trade rumor, there's a human being -- who just happens to play baseball for a living -- whose entire life is floating in all the hot air we generate.

Just imagine, for one second, being that human being -- knowing those rumors are flying, not sure what to believe, answering questions from knuckleheads like us, taking nonstop abuse from teammates. You think that's easy? You think that's fun?

Rumblings and Grumblings Of course not. And that brings us to one of those human beings: Jayson Werth of the Phillies. All of a sudden, over the past couple of weeks, he's been showing up in more rumors than Angelina Jolie. He's going to Tampa Bay. He's going to San Diego. He's going to Boston. Except he's not.

For now.

This very column described him 24 hours ago as the best position player available. But officials of two teams that have been talking to the Phillies told Rumblings on Tuesday they no longer believe Werth is getting traded at all.

"They're 2½ [games] out of the wild card," said one of those officials. "I don't see them selling Werth unless they're overwhelmed by a [win-now] major league piece."

"I really don't think [Phillies GM] Ruben [Amaro] can get what he wants for him," said the other official. "I don't think he can get the right pitcher. I don't think he can get the right pitcher/hitter combo. And at this point, he's not going to take prospects. So I think [Werth] is going to stay right where he is and finish out the year."

Then again, that's as of Tuesday. The deadline is Saturday. A lot can change. Werth knows that. He knows it because he's been a Human Trade Rumor before, back in 2004, when he was a Dodger.

"I was watching ESPN, and they said I'd been traded for Randy Johnson," he said. "That was it. The deal was done. Peter Gammons said it on the air. And it never happened."

So now here he is, six years later, swirling in the same Human Trade Rumor breeze. And because of what he went through last time, he's learned not to call any moving vans yet -- or even to listen too hard or read too much.

"I can't tell you for sure what's out there," he said. "I mean, I'm aware of it. I get asked questions about it. My teammates joke around about it. But as far as the speculation about who or where -- I have no idea. I've never really paid much attention to it. I'm not up late reading the blog sites."

Whether he knows it or not, though, he hasn't turned up in those rumors just because a few guys with a microphone and a notepad got bored and made this up. The Phillies really did toss Werth's name out there to a bunch of teams -- Rays, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, White Sox, Giants, Padres, etc. -- to see what it might bring them back.

But the Phillies were never exactly certain, in the beginning, whether they needed to trade him for a pitcher, a bat to replace him next year if he bolts down a free-agent exit ramp, or prospects to use in another deal.

Then some of those other deals -- such as Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren -- started blowing up. And the Phillies went on a five-game winning streak. And suddenly they were back in the race. And everything changed again.

So the Human Trade Rumor continues to focus on life where he is. And if something happens in the next few days, and it becomes time to focus on life somewhere else, he'll worry about that when he has to -- not because his name shows up daily in Rumor Central.

"It's like that Randy Johnson deal," Werth said. "That didn't end up happening. And I don't think this is going to happen. Now I could be dead wrong. I could get traded by this team. But I just don't think so."

And an official of a club that's been talking to the Phillies agrees. Considering where they are in the standings, they're "not going to give up now," the official said. "They're not as anxious to sell, unless it makes total sense. And I don't see that happening."

So after all that talk, there's a good chance those 4.6 billion Jayson Werth trade rumors will lead absolutely nowhere. But this time of year, you never count on anything -- especially when you're a Human Trade Rumor.

Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. His latest book, "Worth The Wait: Tales of the 2008 Phillies," was published by Triumph Books and is available in bookstores and online. Click here to order a copy.

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