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  • Twins trade Denard Span for Nationals' 2011 first round pick

    The Twins announce that they have have traded Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for pitcher Alex Meyer, a 2011 first round draft pick (23rd overall).

    The big-bodied Meyer, 6'9" and 220, spent last year split between A and High-A, striking out 26.6% of batters faced, walking just 8.6% and produced a 2.86 ERA which led to an invite to the Futures Game.

    Fangraphs.com had an excellent write-up on Meyer, noting that his 97-98 MPH fastball is very impressive in addition to his slider - which Baseball America considered the system's best after the 2011 season. From the Fangraphs.com's article, here's Mike Newman's (Scouting the Sally) scouting report on Meyer's secondary stuff:

    Meyer mixed in an upper-80′s slider with tight, late break. At its best, his arm action was identical to that of his fastball and it profiled as at least an above-average pitch. However, Meyer’s inconsistent mechanics caused him to intermittently drop his elbow or collapse his back leg leading to at least a handful of “hangers” up in the zone. Repetition and experience may help to iron these issues out, but once again, Meyer’s size and previous track record leaves questions as to how seamless those adjustments will be.

    The most surprising aspect of Meyer’s outing was a changeup which was significantly better than expected. At 87-88 MPH, it was a harder change, but his arm action and late drop leaves the projection of an average third pitch — a key for projecting a starting pitcher. Once again, his command was inconsistent causing him to leave the pitch up and out to right-handed hitters too often, but it’s a strong starting point to build from.
    Newman went on to say that the name that popped into his head the most was "Matt Clement" - a promising pitcher who never lived up to the hype.

    Following his draft in 2011, Baseball America's Aaron Fitt said this about the right-hander, noting caution of mechanical issues which plagues taller pitchers:

    Talk about a guy with huge upside, that is Alex Meyer. I saw him at the Houston College Classic this year. I believe the Nationals director of scouting, Kris Kline, was there also. His fastball was hitting the mid-90s and he can run it up to 97-98 mph with life, and he has an explosive breaking ball.

    It was a power knuckle-breaking ball. He called it a knuckle-curve. It really looks more like a slider most of the time. It is a mid-80s mph pitch that can just be a wipeout offering. It is one of the better breaking balls that you will see out there when he has got it going.

    He is making progress as a pitcher. There is risk with this guy. He is 6-foot-9 and like many tall pitchers there are a lot of moving parts. There is a lot going on in that delivery. It takes a lot for those guys to put it all together.

    He reminded me a lot of Andrew Brackman, who was a basketball player at N.C. State who also played baseball. When Brackman was on in college, he was dominant. But again, there is a lot you've got to harness with those tall guys."

    Clement and now Brackman? Uff. Not the most impressive comparables. Still, as Fitt said, there is high-upside there, potential to be a top-of-the-rotation guy - something the Twins don't have now, nor deeper in the farm system. Given his age (23 in January), there's an outside possibility that Meyer could be ready to join the rotation sometime in 2014.

    In trading Span, the Twins free themselves of a $4.75 million commitment for 2013 and $7 million in 2014 ($6.5M plus a $500,000 buyout).
    Comments 321 Comments
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I'm wondering if people upset with the trade are more upset with the return or how far away the return seems? Had the Twins gotten Tijuan Walker, who is far away but a top ten prospect, would some of you folks still be disappointed? Serious question not trying to provoke.
      Yes they would have. Based on what they complain about they appear to have expected as sure thing front end starter for Span.
      After being teased in the media about going after guys like Shields and Cingrani, can you see why expectations had to be adjusted?
      Media claims are about as close to reality as Thyrloss's last scoop. If Shields is traded it is going to net Tampa more than anything the Twins would offer. I am not sure what to make of the Reds talk. Shortstops seem harder to find than outfielders so it would have taken more than Span to swing that.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      [

      Salvo #2 hot off the wires at MLBTradeRumors:


      This could get interesting............................or it could mean Joe Saunders and that other Myers guy is their definition of "a little more agressive".
      It could mean Marcum and Sanchez. That would be aggressive.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I'm wondering if people upset with the trade are more upset with the return or how far away the return seems? Had the Twins gotten Tijuan Walker, who is far away but a top ten prospect, would some of you folks still be disappointed? Serious question not trying to provoke.
      Yes they would have. Based on what they complain about they appear to have expected as sure thing front end starter for Span.
      After being teased in the media about going after guys like Shields and Cingrani, can you see why expectations had to be adjusted?
      Media claims are about as close to reality as Thyrloss's last scoop. If Shields is traded it is going to net Tampa more than anything the Twins would offer. I am not sure what to make of the Reds talk. Shortstops seem harder to find than outfielders so it would have taken more than Span to swing that.
      I wasn't in denial that it would have taken a package deal to get it done. As Twins fans all we have are the games of chicken and poker during the Hot Stove season, expectations, bluffs and ultimate realities have to get recalibrated here, that's all.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      [

      Salvo #2 hot off the wires at MLBTradeRumors:


      This could get interesting............................or it could mean Joe Saunders and that other Myers guy is their definition of "a little more agressive".
      It could mean Marcum and Sanchez. That would be aggressive.
      Yes, that would be agressive and would definitely float a lot of boats in Twinsland, unfortunately St Antony threw in that quaint qualifier, 'a little more'
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I'm wondering if people upset with the trade are more upset with the return or how far away the return seems? Had the Twins gotten Tijuan Walker, who is far away but a top ten prospect, would some of you folks still be disappointed? Serious question not trying to provoke.
      Yes they would have. Based on what they complain about they appear to have expected as sure thing front end starter for Span.
      After being teased in the media about going after guys like Shields and Cingrani, can you see why expectations had to be adjusted?
      Media claims are about as close to reality as Thyrloss's last scoop. If Shields is traded it is going to net Tampa more than anything the Twins would offer. I am not sure what to make of the Reds talk. Shortstops seem harder to find than outfielders so it would have taken more than Span to swing that.
      Are you thinking of Gregorious? Cingrani is the lights-out AA LHP who is for now at least, temporaily blocked from the majors by Chapman moving over from closer to the rotation.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      The Twins are devoid of pitching throughout the organization. One pitcher just isn't going to make enough of a difference in the long run. Oakland returned to contention after years of stockpiling good young arms.

      Now, it may well be that this is the best return the Twins would ever get for Span, though it certainly seems light. But even if it is the best possible deal, it just highlights the dire straits the organization is in. They don't have the assets to trade their way out of it, nor the willingness to acquire quality free agent starters.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Well, well, well, they finally did it. What this means, clearly, is that the team doesn't care about 2013 or 2014 and is waiting until 2015 when the top 6-10 prospects are either going to be rookies or second-year players. SOOOO . . . I would definitely want this to be blow-up central with AT LEAST Morneau dealt (Boston???) as well, if not Willingham and others. I think the trade is ok right now, but 2013 is going to be REALLY bad.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com hears that the Rockies' asking price for Dexter Fowler is "sky high" and the outfielder is unlikely to be traded.

      Crasnick also notes that potentially interested teams are concerned about Fowler's career splits, as he boasts an .882 OPS at Coors Field in his career but a .698 mark on the road. It's still early in the offseason, so things could change once more center field dominoes fall, but it appears that Fowler will probably stay put.


      Source: Jerry Crasnick on Twitter Would any other mlb team trade there starting cf & lead off hitter away like the Twins did?
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Meyer is going to be the real deal, so that is not at all coloring my trepidation here. I just don't like the idea of giving up on the next two years (UNLESS a complete youth movement is in store, because that would be very interesting to watch--in the next two years, Parmelee, Hicks, Arcia, Herrmann, and Benson add interest).

      Anyway, Meyer was a ridiculous beast in HS, striking out more than 2 an inning his senior year. I am definitely excited about his future and he is clearly the best pitching prospect in the system. With a healthy Gibson and a quick-moving Berrios, the Twins could have a remarkable 1-2-3 by 2015.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      In the meantime, sign Marcum and Sanchez and go balls to the wall. Damn it.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      By the way, I wouldn't be opposed to a trade for another Indiana Mr. Baseball in Clayton Richard from the Padres. Hermsen, Swarzak, and Morales would likely bring that about. Or some other trade configuration.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Haven't read through the last eighty or so comments, but I just saw this tidbit out there on the interwebz:

      Meyer is a Boras client.

      That should tell us all we need to know about how horribly the Twins will handle Meyer and his contract status each year. Meyer will never sign a team-friendly contract, and the Twins will likely shop him too late. Oh, well. The initial excitement about this just wore off. Let's hope he provides a positive contribution his first few years.

      On the other hand, it will maybe keep the Twins from handing out a Blackburn/Mays/Baker contract when they don't have to.
    1. wavedog's Avatar
      wavedog -
      I like the trade from the fact that the Nationals are my second-favorite team. They are getting an excellent leadoff hitter at a reasonable price. From the Twins side of things I hope we get a few good years from Meyer - since he is a Boras client - we will have to flip him in a trade at some point because we will never sign him to a long-term deal after his cheap years are over. I think we will miss Span more as a leadoff hitter than CF - I always thought he was better in RF. Revere for a year than Hicks in CF is our hope.
    1. StormJH1's Avatar
      StormJH1 -
      The Boras angle kind of sucks, but at the end of the day, if Meyer turns out to be good enough to even warrant a long term deal, that will have meant we got enough out of this trade. Olney, Law, and even Gleeman seemed to generally like this prospect. Sure the Twins could have gotten more in theory. But with the Braves out, a Fowler trade and a few FA signings could have left us holding the bag too.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      This Boras complaint is ridiculous. He's not even in the majors and unless he's on the opening day roster in 2014 he's not going to be a FA for 8 years. let's worry about this Boras thing 8 years from now.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      I don't assume he'll start in AA and even if he did, 2015 would mean one year in AA and one year in AAA
      Gibson went from A+ to AA to AAA in his debut season. Hendriks, a raw pitcher with virtually no pro ball experience, went from Low A to AAA in two seasons. You may want to rethink your timeline.
    1. rico7961's Avatar
      rico7961 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rick Niedermann View Post
      I like the trade. Twins aren't going to be competitive for a few years anyway. Looking at 2015: 1B-Parmalee 2B-Rosario SS-Santana 3B-Sano LF-Revere CF-Hicks RF-Arcia C-DH Maurer DH-Benson-Kepler. Rotation: Meyer-Gibson-Wimmers-Diamond, others in mix Hendriks-Hermsen-Berrios. Bullpen Arms: Perkins-Fien-Thielbar- Tonkin-Pugh-Robertson. This future team looks very appealing to me. Young, Talented, Athletic, Power, Speed. This is the fun part of Baseball. Looking ahead and projecting what the future might look like. The future looks bright in Minnesota a couple or 3 years from now.
      I don't see how you can see a bright future. It looks more like the mid to late 90's from my perspective. You can go back to any point in Twins history and envision 3 years ahead and think, Wow. Look at the KC Royals they have been wowing for years and where are they today. Less than 20% of those "future stars" will ever be anything in MLB. Taking that into consideration, how does our future look.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by rico7961 View Post
      I don't see how you can see a bright future. It looks more like the mid to late 90's from my perspective. You can go back to any point in Twins history and envision 3 years ahead and think, Wow. Look at the KC Royals they have been wowing for years and where are they today. Less than 20% of those "future stars" will ever be anything in MLB. Taking that into consideration, how does our future look.
      Much better than it did 24 hours ago. The Twins have a franchise player in Mauer, something KC hasn't had since, what, George Brett? They have Perkins, Plouffe, Parmelee, and Diamond for several more years. The Twins have three good pitching prospects in the minors, one of which should contribute this season. They have a handful of guys who may or may not work out (Hendriks, Wimmers, the college pitchers in the last draft class, etc.). They have a boatload of outfield prospects coming through the system. They have Sano.

      All in all, they look pretty good going into 2014. Will that turn into a winning franchise? Hard to say but at least they're not positioned with only minor league talent.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Ya the future will look a lot brighter when I win the lotto!
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Of course some prospects won't pan out but the mid 90's Twins never had talent like the current Twins system. Maybe it won't work but farm systems set up long playoff runs.

      I think it's a little early to write the Royal's great system off. It's taking longer than SOME expected but that is an organization that has a lot of talent. Unfortunately none of the young pitchers have worked out.
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