LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — There’s been lots of chatter over the first two days of Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings that the Nationals are talking to teams about potential deals for relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard.
Clippard has often been mentioned in deals over the last 18 months, though nothing’s ever appeared imminent. Storen less so, though after a tough 2013 season – following his playoff meltdown against the St. Louis Cardinals the previous fall – some teams may sense a buy-low opportunity.
But Washington general manager Mike Rizzo wasn’t having it during his daily briefing with local reporters. He took a hammer to the notion that he was willing to trade Clippard or Storen. Now, you always have to read between the lines in these situations.
Maybe the Nats aren’t actively shopping either pitcher. Maybe Rizzo is just playing coy in case other general managers are listening and need to step up their offer. Maybe he’s just checking their trade value in case something comes up during the season and he can fill an internal weakness for a reliever depending on the bullpen setup.
“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.”