Two days before the non-waiver trade deadline, Minnesota’s Denard Span still figures prominently in the Nationals’ itinerant search for a center fielder.
Talks between the Twins and Nationals remained ongoing as of Friday morning, major-league sources said, with a deal centered around Span and Nationals closer Drew Storen among the scenarios in play.
One source believes the talks have arrived at a crucial moment late Friday morning, with the Nationals concerned about Span’s recent concussion and the Twins disappointed by the most recent offer by Washington general manager Mike Rizzo.
The teams have discussed the possibility of sending Washington center fielder Roger Bernadina to Minnesota, in order to help the Twins recoup some depth at the position.
If the Nationals trade Storen and Bernadina to the Twins, they would receive at least one more player in addition to Span.
It hasn’t reached the point where the Nationals are talking exclusively with the Twins in their search for a center fielder, but Span is believed to be high on their list, one source indicated. Minnesota is willing to consider proposals for Span because rookie center fielder Ben Revere has been impressive at times this season. Span is currently on the disabled list while recovering from the concussion.
The Twins’ approach to the deadline remains unclear, with one source describing them as “in limbo.” They entered Friday in fourth place, six games back in the American League Central.
It’s possible that Minnesota general manager Bill Smith will buy and sell, with a focus on acquiring players also under control for next season; Storen would match that description, at a time when the experienced closers on the Twins’ current roster (Joe Nathan and Matt Capps) are months away from free agency.
The Twins are open to dealing outfielder Delmon Young and right-handed starter Kevin Slowey, although the interest in Young has been tepid. The interest in right fielder/designated hitter Jason Kubel has been strong; there’s a higher probability that Kubel will be moved than Michael Cuddyer, who is also in high demand among contenders.
Minnesota has also spoken with clubs about upgrading its major-league rotation, one source said.
-- Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal