Drew Storen Rumors

Nationals, Twins Not Close On Span Trade

2:46pm: The teams are not close on a Span trade, tweets Jon Paul Morosi.

12:29pm: The Twins don't currently believe this deal can get done, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.  The Nationals so far will not include Storen, tweets Scott Miller.

9:43am: ESPN's Tim Kurkjian tweets that the chances of a Storen/Span deal are less than 50/50.  The Nationals are still in the mix for B.J. Upton.

7:59am: Nationals closer Drew Storen is in the Denard Span trade with the Twins, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but the hangup is over the other players in the deal.  Yesterday we heard names such as Roger Bernadina and Stephen Lombardozzi of the Nationals.

Nationals Making Headway On Acquiring Span

10:47pm: The Nationals are more likely to go after Span than Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton at this point, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that the sides are in a "staredown" (Twitter link). The Twins want the Nationals to include Storen in their offer.

9:22pm: The deal is "no closer than any other day," an MLB official told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

6:31pm: A deal featuring Span and Storen continues to look close, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

6:08pm: The Twins are insisting on acquiring Storen with Bernadina and minor league infielder Stephen Lombardozzi for Span, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

5:18pm: There are lots of mixed signals about the talks, but no deal is close, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

3:28pm: The Nationals are making headway with the Twins on a deal for Span, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.  The Twins are insisting Storen be included along with a second player.

1:50pm: The Twins want Roger Bernadina along with a reliever in any deal that sends Span to the Nationals, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

10:45am: The Nationals are pushing setup man Tyler Clippard on the Twins for center fielder Denard Span over closer Drew Storen, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports.  He says the Twins won't trade Span for a setup man, however.

Aside from saves, Storen comes with one more year of team control than Clippard.  Still, we're talking about 2015 and 2016, and there's no telling what can happen with relievers in the course of several years.

Nationals Targeting Denard Span

10:08am: The Twins are unhappy with the Nationals' offer, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the Nationals are worried about Span's concussion.

FRIDAY, 9:23am: Talks between the Twins and Nationals are ongoing, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Span and Storen are at the center of discussions, with Roger Bernadina and others in play. The Nationals aren't talking exclusively to the Twins as they search for a center fielder, but Span appears to be high on their list of targets.

THURSDAY, 12:52pm: The Nationals are not willing to trade Storen for Span, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson.

WEDNESDAY, 3:20pm: The Nationals continue to target Span, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and Storen may be in play.

MONDAY, 2:03pm: The Nationals have talked to the Twins about Span, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The Nationals are unwilling to trade Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard, though Rosenthal feels Ian Desmond could be of interest to the Twins.

1:30pm: Twins center fielder Denard Span is high on the Nationals' list of targets, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  Span would fit the team's desire for a controllable center fielder/leadoff hitter, assuming there are no ill effects from a concussion suffered in June.

Span, 27, is hitting .294/.361/.385 on the season in 255 plate appearances.  His center field defense has been a plus in recent years, according to UZR.  His team-friendly contract has less than $15MM remaining through 2014, plus a club option for '15.  It's not known whether the Twins consider Span expendable; Ben Revere has a .249/.287/.284 line filling in.  The asking price would surely be significant.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first mentioned Span as a potential Nats target earlier this month, along with B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, and Colby Rasmus.

Nats Rumors: Storen, Clippard, Desmond, Gorzelanny

The Nationals are listening on top relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but such a trade would have to fill a specific long-term need such as center field.  Teams are calling on Storen, Clippard, and Todd Coffey.

Potential center field targets for Washington include B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus, and Denard Span, writes Rosenthal.  He believes that a reliever alone probably would not bring back a center fielder, but the Nats could also trade shortstop Ian Desmond since some club officials would like to move Danny Espinosa to shortstop.

Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard and Desmond through '15.  Desmond would be an interesting name for teams seeking shortstop help, though he's limped to a .226/.269/.311 line in 361 plate appearances this year. 

The Nationals also have starting pitching to spare, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that they will move Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez, and Tom Gorzelanny.  Gorzelanny is a bit of a surprise, as he's got strong strikeout and walk rates and is under team control through 2013.

Greinke Links: Nationals, Yankees, Pavano, Reactions

It's not often that the Brewers and Royals are the two teams dominating discussion around baseball, but that's exactly what's happening today, after the clubs agreed to a blockbuster deal. Let's check out some reactions and a few more details on the trade that will send Zack Greinke to Milwaukee….

  • According to Yahoo's Tim Brown (via Twitter), the Dodgers were discussing Greinke and even brought a third team into the mix in an attempt to meet Kansas City's needs. Ultimately, they ran out of time.
  • SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Royals were close to a deal that would've sent Greinke to Washington, if not for the right-hander's no-trade clause. MLB.com's Bill Ladson confirms that Greinke turned down a potential trade to the Nationals (Twitter links). Heyman adds that Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa likely would've been involved in the hypothetical deal (Twitter link).
  • Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post hears that the Royals coveted Jordan Zimmermann, who the Nats were reluctant to give up.
  • Heyman tweets that Greinke approved the Brewers and not the Nats because he believes Milwaukee is closer to serious contention. He's also apparently fond of the city.
  • According to Heyman (via Twitter), Greinke told the Royals that he wouldn't mind playing for the Yankees, but New York never got close to making a trade for the Kansas City ace.
  • The Brewers had some interest in Carl Pavano, who they presumably won't pursue now. As such, the Twins' leverage with Pavano should improve, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that the $2MM going to Milwaukee will cover the buyout for Yuniesky Betancourt's 2012 option, if the Brewers choose to buy him out.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports praises Brewers GM Doug Melvin for choosing an established player over prospects. Rosenthal also examines the trade from the Royals' perspective.
  • With Prince Fielder a year from free agency, Melvin saw the team's window for playoff contention closing and moved aggressively to improve the 2011 roster, writes Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
  • Fangraphs' Marc Hulet breaks down the package acquired by Kansas City, noting that their haul is "certainly quantity over quality." In an Insider-only article, ESPN.com's Keith Law makes a similar point, calling the Royals' return "bulk, and fit, but not impact."
  • Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and two front office people he spoke to "really like" the move for the Royals (Twitter link).

Olney’s Latest: Greinke, Cabrera, Astros

In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says that the first day of Spring Training acts as an artificial deadline for the Royals to trade Zack Greinke. At that point he will show up to the clubhouse and dominate the team's storyline. Olney likens it to the Johan Santana situation from a few years ago, when the Twins felt pressure to move him before pitchers and catchers reported. He adds that Greinke's performance would then be under intense scrutiny, even during Spring Training, and if he pitches poorly his trade value will plummet.

Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

Nationals Aggressively Pursuing Greinke, Garza

The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Matt Garza or Zack Greinke, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. However, Kilgore’s source doesn’t expect Washington to trade for either pitcher. Earlier today, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported that Royals GM Dayton Moore is actively gauging the market for Greinke.

The Rays and Royals could have interest in Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann, but the Nationals are not likely to move either player. However, Kilgore hears that the team would move Danny Espinosa “in a heartbeat.” Roger Bernadina would be available and it’s possible that the Nationals would consider trading Drew Storen or Sean Burnett, according to Kilgore.

Brian Bruney Clears Waivers

FRIDAY, 7:04pm: Kilgore reports that Bruney has refused his minor league assignment.  The Nats now have a week to deal the reliever, and will probably release him if they can't find a trade partner.  Until Bruney signs with another club, Washington still owes Bruney his $1.5MM salary for 2010.

FRIDAY, 1:35pm: Bruney cleared waivers and now has 24 hours to accept or refuse a minor league assignment, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter). Bruney told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he isn't sure if he'll accept the assignment.

SUNDAY: The Nationals have designated reliever Brian Bruney for assignment, according to MLB.com's William Ladson (via Twitter).  The move was made to create room for right-hander Drew Storen.  

Bruney, 28, has a 7.64 ERA with 16 Ks and 20 walks in 17.2 innings for the Nats this season.  Washington manager Jim Riggleman indicated yesterday that the club might make a roster move involving Bruney.  While the limited sample size should not be overlooked, it is worth noting that the velocity on Bruney's fastball has dipped from 94.6 mph last season to 92.8 mph in 2010.

Meanwhile, Storen has been outstanding this year in both Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse.  Between the two stops, Storen has a 1.12 ERA with 15 Ks and just three walks in 16 innings of work.  Baseball America's Prospect Handbook predicts that the 22-year-old – ranked third in the Nats' farm system – could be closing games in Washington by the end of the season.

Drew Storen On Track For Super Two Status

If Drew Storen stays on the Nationals' roster all season, he will pile up 140 days of service time this year, enough to have a good chance at Super Two status after 2012. There are no guarantees that relievers- young or old- can maintain enough consistency to merit a roster spot all season long. And there are no guarantees that Storen will accumulate a full year of service time in 2011 and 2012. 

But Storen's pedigree (drafted 10th overall) and hot start (10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9) suggest he's as likely as any 22-year-old to stay in the major leagues. If he does, he'll be a Super Two in a couple years and will cost the Nationals more because he will go to arbitration four times, instead of the usual three. 

Jonathan Broxton, another reliever who arrived in the majors at a young age, will earn $12.825MM for his three arbitration years. That shows that relievers can make big money before they hit free agency. Of course, Broxton has been nothing but dominant since 2006 and it's premature to ask for that kind of consistency from Storen. But if Storen stays healthy and lives up to his potential as a top prospect, he could become a Super Two player and earn even more than Broxton through arbitration.

Odds & Ends: Pirates, Yankees, Storen, Mets

Links for Sunday night..

  • The Pirates have promoted Bryan Morris to Double-A after a sensational start to the season, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.  The 23-year-old starter, who has a 0.60 ERA, could earn another promotion by August according to GM Neal Huntington.  Morris was one of the main pieces the Pirates received in the Jason Bay trade in July of '08. 
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) points out that three former Yankees set-up men have been released in the last 24 hours: Chad Gaudin, Edwar Ramirez, and Brian Bruney.
  • Nats pitching coach Steve McCatty says that the club has not yet determined Drew Storen's role and that they will "ease him in", tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com writes that Mets GM Omar Minaya will accompany the team on their trip to Atlanta, though a team official insists that he will be there just to lend support.