As Span nears return, trade appears unlikely

As Span nears return, trade appears unlikely

ARLINGTON -- Multiple reports have linked center fielder Denard Span to the Nationals in a trade that would send closer Drew Storen to the Twins, but a baseball source told MLB.com that the Nationals aren't willing to part with their young reliever.

With Storen reportedly out of the picture, it appears less likely the Twins would want to trade Span, who has been out with a concussion suffered on June 3 in a home-plate collision with Royals catcher Brayan Pena.

Span was one of the club's best players before his injury, hitting .294 with a .361 on-base percentage while providing excellent defense in center field. He's also signed to a team-friendly deal, as he inked a five-year, $16.5 million contract through the 2014 season that began last year. The contract also includes a $9.5 million team option for '15.

Trade Include

He played nine innings in center field for the first time as part of his rehab process with Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday and did the same on Thursday, going 1-for-4 with a stolen base.

"He's continuing to do well," Twins trainer Rick McWane said. "There are no issues with the concussion."

Span, who didn't play on Monday or Tuesday, still needs to play four to six full games in a row before he's ready to be activated from the disabled list, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

"He had a couple days off, so I'm hoping he's feeling pretty good," Gardenhire said. "He should be. So we'll go from there. That's when you're starting to feel the up and up, playing back-to-back ballgames"

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.