WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Relief pitcher Drew Storen #22 of the Washington Nationals throws to a New York Mets batter during the ninth inning of their 3-2 win at Nationals Park on July 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The two names mentioned most often after all the chatter about Ian Desmond getting dealt died down and after the Nationals did, in fact, trade Jason Marquis to Arizona and Jerry Hairston to Minnesota were Tyler Clippard's and Drew Storen's. As the 4:00 pm EDT Non-Waiver Trade Deadline approached, Cippard was pitching in the bottom of the eighth inning of a one-run game against the New York Mets as he's been asked to throughout the last few seasons in the nation's capital. As he has more often than not, Clippard, the Nats' 2011 All-Star, was dominant, striking Willie Harris out looking, popping Daniel Murphy up and getting a fly ball to right from David Wright in a 1-2-3 15-pitch frame.
After the 4:00 o'clock Deadline passed with Washington still ahead 2-1, Nats' closer Drew Storen came out of the bullpen and ran across the right field grass toward the mound looking for his 27th save in 30 opportunities. The Nats Park loudspeakers began to play the cover of "Bad Company" by the band Five Finger Death Punch Storen uses as his entrance music and a loud ovation picked up and continued until he reached the mound. No deal had been made and the 23-year-old 2010 1st Round pick remained the Nats' closer. Two outs later he gave up a game-tying HR, but the Nationals came back to win the finale of their weekend series with the Mets.
@DrewStoren: "Thanks to everyone for the twitter love and ovation today. Means a lot. Real pumped to still be here in DC."
In an article by Star-Tribune Twins beat writer Joe Christensen entitled, "Deadline passes; no deal for Twins", Minnesota GM Bill Smith, who was reportedly attempting to acquire Storen in a deal that involved Twins' center fielder Denard Span, is quoted explaining that though they, "... had a lot of activity, we had a lot of calls, we made progress on a number of possibilities, but we just couldn’t get to the finish line."
"The Nationals tried very hard to get Span in a trade," the Star Tribune writer noted, "and even though the Twins like Washington closer Drew Storen, the teams couldn't reach a deal."
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters after the game that there was a lot of interest in Storen, but not enough offered in return to justify making a deal. As quoted in Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's post-deadline report entitled, "Mike Rizzo on the Nationals’ trade deadline", Rizzo reiterated that, "I’ve said from Day 1 that he’s a cornerstone of the organization,":
"And he’s asked [about] by every team that we talked – he’s the first thing that they want. It would have to be a special deal to make that work, because he’s a special performer at a premium position. It just didn’t match up to our likings, and there was no deal made."
"I think it's great that it's over," Nats' Skipper Davey Johnson said after the deadline passed and after the Nats won, "I know everybody can breathe a sigh of relief, and we've still got Mr. Storen and unfortunately he gave up a big bomb today, but he's a big part of this ballclub."