Jayson Werth told reporters after the Nationals dropped their fifth-straight game overall and third straight to Florida to start the nine-game homestand at Nats Park, that all the trade deadline chatter might be getting to the Nationals. With Thursday's loss, the team is now 9-17 since Davey Johnson took over following Jim Riggleman's resignation, and they've lost eleven of their last fifteen to fall six games under .500 for the first time since June 12th. With a 49-55 record overall heading into the weekend series with the New York Mets and the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline on Sunday, several Nationals' names have been mentioned in rumors which Werth said, as quoted in an article by the Washington Times' Amanda Comak entitled, "With trade chatter rampant, the Nationals try to find their way back to winning", could be part of the problem...
"'A lot of these guys are young. They haven't been through this. It's not tough to turn on your computer and find your name somewhere these days. Maybe that's part of it. I went through it last year at the trade deadline. It is hard to play when that stuff's out there.'"
Nats' closer Drew Storen, whose name has been linked to chatter out of Minnesota revolving around Twins' center fielder Denard Span, told MLB.com's Bill Ladson yesterday, in an article entitled, "Storen hopes to remain with Nationals", that he heard the rumors, but would prefer to remain in the nation's capital. "'It is a compliment," for other teams to have interest Storen told the Nats MLB beat writer, "'... but [trade rumors are] part of the business,' Storen said."
Former Nats' GM Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenESPNxm) and FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) singled Storen out yesterday when they sent a message out via Twitter which read, "Sources: #Nationals continuing to target #Twins' Span. Nats' Storen may be in play," as Mr. Rosenthal reported and, "Nats-Twins working hard on multi-player deal involving Storen and Span and others," as Mr. Bowden wrote.
Late this afternoon, the bow-tied FOXSports.com reporter followed up with a note that explained that the Nats preferred Denard Span over other repeatedly-mentioned center fielders/leadoff men because the 26-year-old outfielder, who signed a 5-year/$16.5M dollar deal with Minnesota last year is, "Under club control through 2015," while the, "Rays' Upton, Astros' Bourn are free after '12.
The only other rumor floating around right now involving the Nats is already a day old with no updates since. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark wrote yesterday, in an article entitled, "Daily Rumble: Trade Ubaldo Jimenez?", that several teams were in talks with Colorado to see if they were actually going to trade the 27-year-old right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, and an, "executive of one club involved in these talks says he was told that two National League teams," who hadn't been identified, were interested, with, "Other clubs... conjecturing that one of them almost certainly is Washington."
The price for Jimenez, of course, is likely to be prohibitive with ESPN.com's Mr. Stark noting in the article that one club told him Colorado wants, "'... three or four really good young players.' And one of them has to be a high-end pitcher who can be plugged into the Rockies' rotation by the middle of next season." One only has to point to the rumored package D.C. GM Mike Rizzo was reportedly willing to part with to acquire Zack Greinke, however, to know that the Nats' general manager is willing to deal if there's an ace on the market.
As for one of the Nats' own pitchers, Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) noted on Twitter tonight that, "'A scout today said that while Jason Marquis is 'out there,' the #Nats may have to wait until August to deal him. 'He'll clear waivers.'" Marquis, Storen, Tyler Clippard, Todd Coffey, Ian Desmond, Livan Hernandez, Pudge Rodriguez? Those Nationals and others have been mentioned in rumors leading up to this Sunday's Non-Waiver Deadline. Three days left until the rumors stop. Then the Nationals will start driving in runners in scoring position, right?