FRISCO -- On Nov. 12, 1886, the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Browns completed the first fully documented swap of players in baseball history. The Browns sent five-year veteran Hugh Nicol to the Reds for Jack Boyle, a catcher who had played in a single pro game. Truly, the oldest trade in baseball history is an established Major Leaguer for prospects. That doesn't make Rangers prospects rest easier at Trade Deadline time, especially with their organization being rumored as one of the most active teams, especially in searching for bullpen help. "I don't pay attention to any of it," Double-A Frisco reliever Tanner Scheppers said Wednesday. "That's about as deep as it gets. I don't even know what talks are going on. I just go out there and play ball."
Scheppers is one of several excellent young pitchers in the Rangers' system who could be coveted by other teams. Double-A teammates Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin are also highly regarded and heavily scouted. "We all know what's going on," Wieland said. "It kind of showed last night -- the fact that basically the entire front office was at our game, even Nolan Ryan. We've seen stuff on the Internet, but we're not trying to let that affect us. That's one thing you can't do -- you can't get caught up in that and lose focus of what's going on on the field." Often, the families of players spend more time worrying about the players' next stop than the players themselves do. "They know, and they hear about all the rumors and stuff," said Erlin, who pitched in front of Ryan and others on Tuesday. "They just told me to make sure I called them if I hear anything." Whereas Major Leaguers dealt at the Trade Deadline only have to worry about helping their new MLB organization win, prospects have to deal with the dual worries of fitting in with whatever Minor League team they're sent to, along with improving to become good enough for the Majors. "Whatever happens, whatever you go through, you just have to do your work," Frisco outfielder Engel Beltre said. Beltre was one of three players acquired by the Rangers from the Red Sox on July 31, 2007. "Sometimes that's a good moment, when you're traded to another team, where you have more doors open," Beltre said. "That would be a good time for us, so we can go and move forward." The Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. CT on Sunday. "We're probably all looking forward to it [passing]," Wieland said. "I haven't really seen my name too much, so it's not like I'm worried, but at the same time, we all want to know what's going to happen. Once the Trade Deadline is up, we'll all be a little bit more comfortable."