UPDATE 10:35 p.m.: Mike Rizzo wasn’t on the phone as he slipped through the Nationals’ clubhouse and into a conference room postgame. Meanwhile, Davey Johnson doesn’t believe setup man Tyler Clippard will be dealt.
“Tyler ain’t going nowhere,” Johnson said. “(If he does) I’m going with him. I don’t know where we’d be without Tyler.”
Johnson said he believed the same about Drew Store, but wasn’t as adamant. Read into that what you will.
And Johnson added one big caveat: “I thought Hairston was going nowhere.”
That may sum up the confusion offered by the trade deadline better than anything. A little over 17 hours remain until that deadline passes.
UPDATE 10:28 p.m.: An update on the Span-Storen talks from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune indicates the deal is “no closer than any other day.”
UPDATE 10:08 p.m.: Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Nationals are among several teams interested in Astros center fielder Michael Bourn.
UPDATE 9:24 p.m.: Closer Drew Storen, frequently mentioned in connection with the Denard Span trade talks, trots in from the bullpen for the Nationals. He’ll try and finish out a game where Washington leads, 3-0. Outwardly, at least, he’s taken the trade rumors in stride in keeping with his relaxed demeanor.
UPDATE 9:10 p.m.: Our Paulina Berkovich caught up with Brian Bixler before the game. He fills Hairston’s roster spot and utility role. That could include some backup work in center field, depending on how the rest of the trade deadline plays out.
UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: For what it’s worth, Nationals prospect Steve Lombardozzi was in the lineup and hit leadoff for Triple-A Syracuse tonight. His name was linked to the Span trade talks earlier today by Jim Bowden. Through six innings, Lombardozzi is 2-for-3, upping his average to .325.
UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: One bit of oddity you find near the trade deadline: dealing players who were drafted less than a year ago. Why did the Nationals announce they acquired Zach Walters, a ninth-round pick in the 2010 draft, while the 2010 draftee sent to the Mariners for Doug Fister today is a player-to-be-named from the Tigers?
A player can’t be traded until one year after he signs. Walter signed in June 2010 leaving him eligible. The Tigers’ 2010 draftees in Fister deal would’ve signed sometime after July 30, 2010.
One more twist to baseball’s transaction rules, which can be delightfully arcane.
UPDATE 8:19 p.m.: Minneapolis Star-Tribune baseball writer Joe Christensen clarifies that Span wasn’t in the lineup for Triple-A Rochester tonight because the Red Wings traveled from Louisville, Ky., to Rochester, N.Y. this morning.
UPDATE 8:09 p.m.: Catching up with a few telling pregame comments from Davey Johnson. Clear that significant changes are in store for the Nationals’ roster.
“We’re on the cusp of making some changes to become the kind of club I know we can be,” said Johnson, who reiterated he’s on the same page with Rizzo. “There’s a lot of different contingency plans right now, a bunch of them. It just depends on which one we go to.”
The only certainty Johnson has is who starts Sunday: right-hander Jordan Zimmermann.
UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: A quick break from the trade deadline to wish a speedy recovery to friend and colleague Dan Daly. You may know Dan from his excellent columns for The Washington Times. Dan recently had bypass surgery. He just registered his first post-bypass tweet. Give him a follow at Twitter.com/dandalyonsports and send him a message of encouragement. He’s one of the good ones in this business, one I’m fortunate to work with.
UPDATE 7:31 p.m.: Fox Sports baseball writer Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Twins have a scout at Nationals Park tonight and a deal between the teams is “close.”
UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Jim Bowden dropped a fascinating tweet on the Span-Storen talks. Bowden said the Twins are demanding Storen plus Roger Bernandina and prospect Steve Lombardozzi for Span. That’s a hefty price, if true.
A good time to remember, however, that Bowden tweeted earlier today that the teams agreed on secondary players in the deal and that Storen would be involved. We shall see. Lots of posturing and misinformation this time of year.
UPDATE 7:04 p.m.: Some organizational housekeeping from today’s Hairston and Marquis deals. Erik Komatsu, obtained for Hairston, will report to Double-A Harrisburg. Zach Walters, in the deal for Marquis, goes to Single-A Potomac.
UPDATE 6:58 p.m.: Wanted to pass along a couple of pregame comments from Storen. Most of his teammates were checking their smartphones and had an eye on ESPN on the big screen televisions. It’s the time of year when rumors abound.
“It doesn’t really affect us too much,” Storen said of the trade chatter, “because you realize it’s part of it.”
UPDATE 6:51 p.m.: Minnesota Twins’ center fielder Denard Span, on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester, is not in tonight’s lineup. The Nationals are targeting Span, possibly in a deal involving closer Drew Storen.
Good evening from Nationals Park where, yes, there’s actually a baseball game. Easy to forget with the flurry of trades and rumors involving the team. Passed general manager Mike Rizzo in the tunnel outside the Nationals’ clubhouse. He was pacing back and forth and, of course, on his phone.
We’ll try something different tonight and update this blog with trade tidbits and news involving the Nationals as they filter in in advance of Sunday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline. Check back often.