This isn’t speculation. This is an on-the-record quote from the general manager of the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners spent Monday morning trying to iron out the details on a trade to acquire shortstop Zack Cozart from Cincinnati before the 1 p.m. deadline for non-waiver deals. It didn’t happen.

Multiple sources earlier indicated a deal seemed likely. The Mariners believed they had a framework for a two-for-two deal in place Sunday in which they would have sent minor-league pitcher Luiz Gohara to the Reds. The proposed swap had two other minor-league players changing clubs but, ultimately, the Reds backed away — apparently because they spent much of the morning restructuring a trade that sent outfielder Jay Bruce to the New York Mets.

In effect, it appears the Reds ran out of time before they could completely review and assess the medical records of the players they were to receive from the Mariners.

General manager Jerry Dipoto declined to discussed specifics but, asked how close the Mariners came to a trade, he replied: “Thirty seconds?”

Look, if this is true, it’s embarrassing for the Reds front office. They appear inept.

Reports surfaced several hours before the deadline that the two clubs had worked out the 2-for-2 trade. This article says the trade framework was finalized on SUNDAY. Trading Zack Cozart would have opened up playing time for top prospects. It should have been a high priority for the Reds. If in fact the Reds had decided they liked the trade terms with the Mariners but just didn’t have the time to get the medical reports reviewed, that’s shocking.

Maybe the Reds ended up not liking the trade, or maybe there’s a part of this that outsiders can’t appreciate. Or maybe at the next deadline the Reds should give up chewing gum just to be safe.