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Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker isn’t thrilled about losing number to Corey Hart

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

The Seattle Mariners eventful week continued on Friday with the introductions of Corey Hart, who they signed away from the Milwaukee Brewers, and Logan Morrison, who they acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins.

For the most part, the introductory press conference was a paint-by-the-numbers event with the usual photo op and all of the clichés we've became accustomed to mixed in, but there were two little details hanging in the background that actually piqued fans interest in the events.

You'll notice Morrison will be wearing his original No. 20 with Seattle after switching to No. 5 over the past two seasons with the Miami. Meanwhile, Corey Hart will take the No. 27 after wearing No. 1 his entire career in Milwaukee. Typically this wouldn't be worth a second glance, but it becomes an interesting news item when you consider two things.

1. Those two numbers most recently belonged to two of Seattle's highest ranked prospects — Nick Franklin and Taijuan Walker.

2. Both prospects have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors swirling around Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.

Naturally, the numerical changes only added fuel to those rumors, but the Mariners quickly attempted to put that fire out.

Oh really?

Well, that would seemingly squash those rumors.

Or does it?

Tajiuan Walker had a contradicting response on Twitter that he has since deleted, but not before it was captured by several people.

Well, clearly someone is lying or a little foggy with their memory.

Even though Hart is a nine-year veteran and the 21-year-old Walker has only made three appearances at the major league level, the team can't just hand his number over without asking permission. In fact, in most cases the player seeking the number will look to strike a deal as a goodwill gesture, which usually results in everyone coming away happy. Obviously that conversation didn't take place, so the only remaining possibilities are the team lied about the young players making a request or the request somehow slipped Walker's mind.

I'll let you decide which is more likely.

Also, for whatever it's worth, general manager Jack Zduriencik attempted to get the finals word on Walker's status early Friday evening.

Obviously this is a very minor drama in the grand scheme of things, but those looking for further evidence of dysfunction in Seattle can consider resting their case.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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