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Rosenthal: Nationals may offer Drew Storen for Twins’ Denard Span

Jul 27, 2011, 5:45 PM EDT

Drew Storen Getty Images

It worked last year, as the Nationals picked up their long-term catcher by sending their closer to the Twins.  Now they could make a similar move, only grabbing a center fielder instead, if’s Ken Rosenthal is correct.

According to Rosenthal, Drew Storen may be in play in the trade talks between the Nationals and Twins regarding Denard Span.  Previous reports had shortstop Ian Desmond as the possible return for Minnesota, but the Twins may prefer getting a long-term closer instead.

And Drew Storen is definitely that.  The 23-year-old has a 2.37 ERA and is 25-for-28 saving games for the Nationals this season.  He’s under control through 2016, and he’s about as good of a bet as any current closer in the major leagues to still be in that role five years from now.

But do the Twins really want to go this route again?  Last year, they sent Wilson Ramos to the Nationals for Matt Capps.  It worked out just fine initially, as Capps has a 2.00 ERA and was 16-for-18 saving games for Minnesota down the stretch.  Plus, Ramos was always viewed as expendable because of Joe Mauer‘s presence behind the plate.

However, Ramos would have been of great use to the Twins this year while Mauer missed most of the first half, and Capps, having blown seven of 22 save chances, has been getting booed off the mound at Target Field.

This one probably wouldn’t work out so badly.  Span is a nice regular and he’s not going to be a free agent until after 2014, but the Twins do have Ben Revere behind him, and while Revere probably won’t match Span offensively, he could be a decent regular at a bargain price.  Plus, their top position prospect, Aaron Hicks, also possesses the range to play center field in the majors.

I’d still give the idea of a Span-for-Storen swap a thumbs down for the Twins; there are better ways to cash in Span than trading him for a closer.  However, at least in this case, they’d be getting a whole lot more than a Matt Capps in return.

  1. RedHeadedBastard - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    NOOOOOO! Don’t do it Nationals!

    • The Common Man - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:51 PM

      Yeah, don’t do it Nationals. And I say this as a Twins fan.

      • sboger3 - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:28 PM

        Seriously, that would be a terrible deal for the Twins…not only do we not need a third closer, but we don’t need to give up a .300 CF with great defense while still young for a third closer. Can we trade Capps back for this guy instead?

  2. bigleagues - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Wow, the Nationals are really considering trading a young premier Closer (team protected for 5 more seasons) for an OF who is roughly following the Marlon Byrd career trajectory? Wow, the Nats must really be serious about their commitment to winning.

    Oh, Ken Rosenthal reported it?

    Nevermind – for a second I thought that was perfectly reasonable trade speculation.

    • bigleagues - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      Are there that many Ken Rosenthal fans? Really?! Cuz he stinks. He really really does.

  3. drunkenhooliganism - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Is Denard Span better than I think he is? Why would you trade the best closer in the NL that you control for the next five years for a Denard Span? He seems like a decent player, but I wouldn’t give up Storen for him

    Yeah, I might overrate Storen.

    • prionogenic - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:12 PM

      Venters/Kimbrel and Bastardo/Madson are better closing options than Drew Storen.

      • bigleagues - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        You state Venters/Kimbrel and Bastardo/Madson are better closing options that Storen as if every team has the good fortune of assembling two shut-down back-end bullpen arms.

        Venters/Kimbrel is a real life major league freak show. To have two young power arms like that have the ability to step up to the Show and be as successful as they have with the Braves contending all season is about as improbably a success as it comes. And a case can be made they have been overused.

        The Phillies situation is a happy accident. They didn’t set out this year with the thought that Bastardo/Madson would be a great 1-2. And that may still disintegrate.

        But the height of absurdity is to then assert that somehow Storen, as a singular talent, is somehow less of an option than the two aforementioned pairs.

        Storen is at least an equivalent talent to that of Kimbrel/Venters – except he pitches for a lesser team without the benefit of having an equally impressive talent backing him up.

        To trade Storen, at his age, (for a young Marlon Byrd-type) with the service years he has remaining (unless something is about to change in the new labor agreement), by a team that claims it intends to be a contender sooner rather than later, is shortsighted beyond imagination.

    • The Common Man - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:51 PM

      Yeah, you overrate Storen and underrate Span.

    • kast2l - Jul 27, 2011 at 7:41 PM

      no way he is the BEST closer in the NL… not by a long shot… as prionogenic said, kimbrel, venters and bastardo/madson would have something to say about that. Along with heath bell, krod, axford, brian wilson, but i think i made my point

      • sasquash20 - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:14 PM

        Hes going to be one of the best. 2nd season and hes got 25 saves, 40 ks in 49 inn, only 12 walks, a whip of .932, 5 wins, a 2.372 era oh and hes only 23 years old. Hes going to be a stud!

        Maybe not the best, but he is going to be a good one

  4. JB (the original) - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    what was left unsaid*, Nats have to take Capps back too.

    *in my dreams

  5. foreverchipper10 - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    I would rather keep Storen than swap him for Span if I were in the Nats office.

  6. brian1413 - Jul 27, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    I want more than storen for Span. I would take Desmond and Storen for Span maybe the Twins could throw in an anthony swarzak or something.

  7. mplsjoe - Jul 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    The Twins should live by NMC: no more closers.

  8. sasquash20 - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Spann isn’t anything special, and he never will be. Storen has a chance to be a stud. The Nats are crazy if they make this move now. They have a lot of young talent, and shouldn’t give up on Storen for a ok Spann. Think down the road DC, oh wait never mind I’m a Phillies fan. So go ahead and trade one of trade one of the best young closers in the game. In fact once the Nats team gets better I think he will be the best closer in the NL.

  9. wlschneider09 - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Maybe it’s just latent guilt on the part of the Nats for that whole Capps/Ramos thing…

  10. kinggw - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    I dont believe this rumor, Rizzo might be a jerk for telling Riggleman where to stick his extension, but isnt Bowden.

  11. depotmaster - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    As a Nats fan, I don’t understand why they would consider going after someone who isn’t even able to play at this point (can anyone say “Brian Roberts” or “Justin Morneau”?) – Storen has the right mental toughness to become great. Span is eminently more replaceable. The Nats would be better served by doing nothing, and buying in free agency in the next year or two.

  12. kopy - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    The amount of people who think this is a bad idea for the Nationals boggles my mind. Relief pitching is the most expendable and available position in MLB. Storen irreplaceable? Closers get dealt every year and then signed all the time in the winter. Span had 1 concussion, and he’s currently making his starts in AAA and now the guy can’t play? I’m almost positive this was his first pro DL stint. Do people still think the save statistic is important? I just don’t understand these reactions.

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