Nationals making progress in talks for Denard Span

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UPDATE: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Nationals are “making headway” with the Twins in trade talks for center fielder Denard Span. The Twins are insisting that Drew Storen is included in the deal along with a second player. From Adam Kilgore’s report earlier in the day, we can assume that might mean Roger Bernadina. Mercy.

Interestingly, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports tweeted a little bit earlier that the Yankees have also inquired about Denard Span, though he suspects it could be part of a bigger deal. In turn, Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes that it could be an avenue for the Yankees to flip Span to the Nationals for Tyler Clippard.

Of course, the Yankees originally swapped Clippard to the Nationals for Jonathan Albaladejo back in December of 2007. Jonathan Albaladejo? Exactly.

3:02 PM: Oh boy. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Twins want Roger Bernadina along with a reliever in any deal that sends Denard Span to Washington. What’s the hold-up here, Mike Rizzo? Give Bill Smith who he wants and tell him you’ll talk to him again next July.

12:02 PM: Just in case you thought the idea of trading Denard Span for Drew Storen was bananas, here’s this.

According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Nationals are now pushing Tyler Clippard instead of Storen in a potential trade.

Clippard, who was named to the National League All-Star team this season, has an impressive 1.70 ERA and 73/20 K/BB ratio over 58 1/3 innings this season. However, while Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard would be eligible for free agency one year earlier.

Fortunately it sounds like the Twins aren’t having any of this, as Miller writes that they won’t accept a set-up man in return for Span. And as our own Aaron Gleeman will tell you, the Twins like the idea of a “proven closer.”

Span, 27, is owed $3 million next season, $4.75 million in 2013 and $6.5 million in 2014. His contract also includes a $9 million club option for 2015 or a $500,000 buyout.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.