A possible trade between the Twins and Nationals has surfaced on the rumor mill in recent hours, with CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reporting that Washington is zeroing in on Denard Span to be its center fielder of the future, while the Twins target closer Drew Storen in a possible multi-player trade.
It's possible that shortstop Ian Desmond and catcher Wilson Ramos could be part of a deal, as they did not play on Wednesday, fueling speculation that the two could be part of a trade for Rays' center fielder B.J. Upton, who also rode the pine Wednesday.
Of course, the Twins have Joe Mauer at catcher, so it's doubtful they're looking to re-acquire Ramos even if they're regretting the deal that sent him to the Nats for Matt Capps last season, who recently lost his closer's job. But Desmond? The Twins do need infield help, but Alexi Casilla and Tsuyoshi Nishioka crowd the middle infield spots, while Danny Valencia is still starting regularly at third, even if he should hit the bench against right-handers. All this is probably more smoke than it is fire.
What clearly is something, though, is the Span-Storen deals. The Twins need to stabilize their bullpen, both for 2011 and in the future, and adding a young reliever like Storen would go a long way toward locking the ninth inning down for years. We'll find out by Sunday if there's any truth to these rumors.
Here are some other trade rumors to whet your appetite:
- The Padres will move "at the minimum" Heath Bell, Aaron Harang and Ryan Ludwick by the trade deadline. (Jim Bowden, ESPN)
- Speaking of Bell, the Rangers could be the destination, with a package around Erlin, as Bowden says. The Padres scouted Erlin's start on Tuesday. (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)
- Milwaukee continues to discuss Jamey Carroll with the Dodgers, but it's not clear if Carroll or Rafael Furcal will be traded. (Buster Olney, ESPN)
- The Astros rejected a bid from Philadelphia structured around Jonathan Singleton and Jared Cosart for Hunter Pence. The Red Sox and Braves also tried to get Pence. (Jon Heyman, SI.com)
- The chances of trading Ubaldo Jimenez? No longer slim -- now there's a "chance." (Jim Bowden, ESPN)
- San Francisco are waiting out the Reds on Ramon Hernandez and if he becomes available, a trade could happen in short order. (San Francisco Chronicle)
- The suitors for Hiroki Kuroda are nothing new -- Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Indians. But New York may be getting more aggressive in its attempt to trade for the right-hander. (Fox Sports)
- The Indians are not only in on Kuroda, but are chatting about bringing back former backup infielder Jamey Carroll. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.