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Nationals making progress in talks for Denard Span

Jul 30, 2011, 4:36 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins Getty Images

UPDATE: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Nationals are “making headway” with the Twins in trade talks for center fielder Denard Span. The Twins are insisting that Drew Storen is included in the deal along with a second player. From Adam Kilgore’s report earlier in the day, we can assume that might mean Roger Bernadina. Mercy.

Interestingly, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports tweeted a little bit earlier that the Yankees have also inquired about Denard Span, though he suspects it could be part of a bigger deal. In turn, Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes that it could be an avenue for the Yankees to flip Span to the Nationals for Tyler Clippard.

Of course, the Yankees originally swapped Clippard to the Nationals for Jonathan Albaladejo back in December of 2007. Jonathan Albaladejo? Exactly.

3:02 PM: Oh boy. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Twins want Roger Bernadina along with a reliever in any deal that sends Denard Span to Washington. What’s the hold-up here, Mike Rizzo? Give Bill Smith who he wants and tell him you’ll talk to him again next July.

12:02 PM: Just in case you thought the idea of trading Denard Span for Drew Storen was bananas, here’s this.

According to Scott Miller of, the Nationals are now pushing Tyler Clippard instead of Storen in a potential trade.

Clippard, who was named to the National League All-Star team this season, has an impressive 1.70 ERA and 73/20 K/BB ratio over 58 1/3 innings this season. However, while Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard would be eligible for free agency one year earlier.

Fortunately it sounds like the Twins aren’t having any of this, as Miller writes that they won’t accept a set-up man in return for Span. And as our own Aaron Gleeman will tell you, the Twins like the idea of a “proven closer.”

Span, 27, is owed $3 million next season, $4.75 million in 2013 and $6.5 million in 2014. His contract also includes a $9 million club option for 2015 or a $500,000 buyout.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    So now the Nationals are trying to trade a better reliever to the Twins presumably because he is not their closer?

    • D.J. Short - Jul 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      I like Clippard too, but hey, you never know with relievers. Bad deal either way, really.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:57 PM

      Setting aside for a moment this thing about getting a closer for the sake of getting a closer, and this thing about trading a reliever for a CF, seems to me Storen is the one with more value.

      Storen turns 24 in a couple of weeks; Clippard is 26. Storen is considered the more talented (remember, he was a high 1st-rounder). Also, I’d have to think that, as effective as Clippard has been, his funky delivery might scare off some GMs as an injury risk.

      [BTW. as I’m typing this, Clippard has just entered the game in the top of the 7th.]

  2. wlschneider09 - Jul 30, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Perhaps, to salvage the pride of fans of both teams, everyone should just walk away now and pretend these negotiations never happened.

  3. paul621 - Jul 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Is it just me, or is Span a wee bit overrated when it comes to this trade talk? Sure, he’s pretty good, but these posts make him seem like a sure-fire perennial allstar. I’d actually like to see the Nats keep Storen if the return is just Span. .

    • El Jefe - Jul 30, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      The only reason Span is not seen as a perennial all star is because the all star game does not bother picking outfielders based on their natural position. Thus you end up with an all star lineup stacked with power hitting left and right fielders. Good defense, a high on base percentage, a .300 batting average and 30 steal speed all get overlooked in the name of tater mashers.

    • Maxa - Jul 30, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      Span wouldn’t have to be anything near a “sure-fire perennial all star” to make this a bad deal.

  4. siouxyaya17 - Jul 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    The Twins would be absolutely nuts to take either of these deals. Unless there is a legitimate prospect included, not gonna happen.

  5. Kanonen80 - Jul 30, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    I don’t get the Twins fascination with the “proven closer” tag. All of almost all of their good closers of seasons past have been failed starters who turned into good middle relievers who turned into great closers.

    However, there is no way they should trade a starting CF for a relief pitcher of any kind. I think Perkins deserves a shot at the closer gig after Nathan leaves.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    What would they been insistent upon Roger Bernadina?

  7. Tim OShenko - Jul 30, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Trading a CF with excellent defense – who happens to be one the team’s best OBP guys – for a reliever and a mediocre outfielder (as if they don’t have enough of those lying around)? Sheesh, it’s like the Twins WANT to suck.

  8. siouxyaya17 - Jul 30, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    That’s a picture of Alexi Casilla.

    • D.J. Short - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:40 PM


      • siouxyaya17 - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:16 AM

        I accept your apology.

  9. kander013 - Jul 30, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    By the way, that’s a picture of Alexi Casilla, not Denard Span. But to make everyone happy, can we just get rid of Bill Smith?

    • D.J. Short - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:40 PM

      Yep, got it. Apologies.

  10. kirbyslefteye - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    That is a pic of Alexi Casilla. What is this–the Bleacher Report? Ugh.

    • D.J. Short - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:39 PM

      Ugh, sorry. The Getty caption threw me off completely. When you’re bouncing between trade rumors, it happens. By the way, stay tuned for my slideshow.

  11. Justin - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    The reason it seems like the Twins are giving up too much is because this is missing a piece of the trade. The Twins are insisting on Storen, Bermadina, AND Lombardozzi. He is a 2B who is above average at defense and may be ready for a september call up for some experience. Sounds like the type of guy the Twins go for.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:16 PM

      If I’m Mike Rizzo, Lombardozzi is a deal-breaker.

      As a Nats fan, I wouldn’t be happy to lose Storen, but to get a long-term answer in CF, OK. But then, we thought Nyjer Morgan was the long-term answer in CF. I have to wonder whether Span is the long-term answer, either.

      [BTW, Storen pitched a scoreless, though shaky, 9th for a save. Nats Win! Nats Win!]

      • Justin - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:44 PM

        As a Twins fan I will tell you this much. Span is a stand up character guy which can’t exactly be said of what I have heard/read of Nyjer. Also he has pretty decent number to back it up. Think Span may be locked up for another 3 years too.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 30, 2011 at 11:01 PM

        You’re correct about Nyjer. He started out great, got hurt, and played poorly when he returned. The Tony Plush persona wears thin when he wasn’t producing. He seems to be doing well for the Brewers, but we’ll see how well his act wears in Milwaukee.

  12. ndnut - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    For those people who think the Twins giving up Span is a bad idea, watch their replacement for him, Ben Revere. Although isn’t much for offense, he is faster and better defensively. I think that with enough coaching and BP hours, Revere will be better than Span was. So by getting one or two much needed relievers for him, It may not be that crazy to trade him.

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