WASHINGTON -- Reliever Drew Storen said Wednesday night that he wants to stay with the Nationals.
He has heard his name in trade rumors -- including one that had him going to the Twins for center fielder Denard Span. But a baseball source said that the Nationals are not willing to trade Storen for Span, who is currently on a rehab assignment after suffering a concussion in a home-plate collision in early June.
Storen is having a solid season for Washington. Entering Thursday's action, Storen had 25 saves and a 2.68 ERA.
Storen said he was flattered that other teams would want his services.
"It is a compliment, but [trade rumors are] part of the business," Storen said.
Before the injury, Span was hitting .294 with a .361 on-base percentage in 56 games for the Twins. If the Nats were to acquire Span, he would be Washington's leadoff hitter. The club has tried Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, Jerry Hairston Jr., Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel at the leadoff spot, and none have worked out. They entered Thursday's finale vs. the Marlins hitting a combined .195 with a .266 on-base percentage.
Span is one of four center fielders -- along with B.J. Upton, Peter Bourjos and Michael Bourn -- the Nationals are scouting in the days leading up to Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The baseball source also said that that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo would like to acquire Upton, who is hitting .227 with 15 home runs and 53 RBIs for the Rays, who are looking to add a shortstop and a catcher. It's has been known for several weeks that Tampa Bay has interest in Desmond, but two sources have insisted that Desmond is not going anywhere.
The Nationals are not comfortable with Roger Bernadina in center field and feel he is better suited as a corner outfielder. Their two other center fielders -- Ankiel and Hairston -- are considered bench players.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.