Relievers Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen have drawn significant interest from opposing teams during the winter meetings, but General Manager Mike Rizzo publicly quelled the notion that the Nationals are seriously considering any deals.
“You listen to every call that comes in and every idea,” Rizzo said. “But we haven’t been fielding all that many calls on Clippard and Storen. There’s a lot of ‘lobby talk,’ I call it, about it. But there’s been actually no offer, no trade scenario that’s official that included Clippard or Storen. Or [Denard] Span.”
Although Clippard is projected to make $6.2 million in arbitration and Storen is expected to make about half, Rizzo “would need to have his socks knocked off” to move either, according to a person familiar with the situation. Even though they have a surplus of back-end relievers, the Nationals appear to be listening and not shopping.
On Monday, the Chicago Cubs told the Nationals they were interested in Clippard and Storen but those talks appear to have remained simply as an idea. According to a November report by CBS Sports, the Nationals were said to be listening to offers on Span, who is under control in ’14 and has a ’15 team option. But trading Span seems to make little sense: He fills a vital role of leadoff hitter and is a stellar center fielder. If the Nationals pick up his ’15 option, he is owed $15.5 million over two seasons, a reasonable price if Span performs well.