WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Drew Storen #22 of the Washington Nationals walks to the mound after giving up a home run in the ninth inning to Yadier Molina #4 (not pictured) of the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on June 16, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won the game 7-4 in ten innings. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
ESPN.com's Buster Olney's talked to "rival executives" who tell him that D.C. GM Mike Rizzo is on a mission to find a center fielder. For the Nats' General Manager, according to Mr. Olney's sources, "'It's his Holy Grail,' one GM said. 'He's bound and determined to get an established guy [at that position].'" Determined enough that, according to reports from FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi at least, Rizzo and the Nats are considering including '09 1st Round pick and current Nationals' closer Drew Storen in a deal with Minnesota in order to get Denard Span from the Twins.
In an article entitled, "Sources: Twins, Nationals still talking Span-Storen", FOXSports.com's Mr. Morosi wrote this morning that, "One source believes the talks have arrived at a crucial moment late Friday morning," with Washington looking at Span's medical records (he's recovering from a concussion) and Minnesota, "disappointed by the most recent offer by Washington general manager Mike Rizzo." No word, of course, about what players if any other than Storen and Span are involved, but Mr. Morosi notes that, "It hasn’t reached the point where the Nationals," in their pursuit of a center fielder, "are talking exclusively with the Twins..." though the Nats reportedly have Span high on their list.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson, in an article this afternoon entitled, "Span, Upton on Nationals' radar", quotes a "baseball source" who tells him the Tampa Bay Rays' center fielder, "[B.J.] Upton is the one Rizzo really wants." Mr. Ladson also notes that there is interest out there in Nats' right-hander Jason Marquis, with Detroit mentioned as a team looking at the 32-year-old "extreme ground ball" pitcher. "A baseball source told MLB.com Thursday night that the Tigers have interest in Marquis," Mr. Ladson writes. He's not the only one hearing such things.
Former DC GM Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenESPNxm), now a writer with ESPN and a talk show host with Sirius/XM's MLB Network Radio here's that, "Indians have joined Tigers in pursuit of Jason Marquis," as well. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) reported this afternoon on Twitter, however, that the, "#Nationals want teams to assume all of the $2.2M left on Jason Marquis contract, source says. Potential trade partners cool to the idea."
That's where we stand as of 5:49 pm EDT on Friday. Two days of persistent rumors left...then it's the signing deadline for prospects, the Waiver Deadline...the Hot Stove. It never ends...