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Trade speculation heats up as Trade Deadline nears

Trade speculation heats up as Trade Deadline nears

ATLANTA -- The Marlins are striving to get back to .500 at a time trade rumors heat up.

The non-waiver Trade Deadline is July 31, and Miami is weighing whether to make any major moves.

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Plenty of ground needs to be made up as the club sits in fourth place in the National League East.

"For all of us who have been around as players, that's this time of year," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "This time of year there is always a lot of speculation about guys -- trades, and all that stuff."

Closer Steve Cishek has been mentioned as a possible trade candidate, although the Marlins have told teams the right-hander is not available.

Whether that changes could depend on how the team performs in the next week to 10 days.

If the Marlins have a successful seven-game road trip to Atlanta and Houston, chances are the club won't part with established players. If not, and an offer is enticing, then in all likelihood, Miami will listen.

Redmond says all players can do is focus on their task at hand.

"It can become a distraction, if you make it a distraction," Redmond said. "Guys have just got to focus on doing their jobs, and playing one game at a time. You can't get too caught up on what you read and what you hear."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less