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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. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      I understand that we don't need Span. Doesn't Span have alot more value than Meyer? Doesn't Span have more value than Benson, Hicks, ect,?
      Why the rush to trade him? Would not Benson or Hicks for Meyer be better? Could we make the same or better deal next fall?
    1. Rick Niedermann's Avatar
      Rick Niedermann -
      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.
    1. twinsfaninsaudi's Avatar
      twinsfaninsaudi -
      Quote Originally Posted by Big City View Post
      Wow, surprising it's not a more MLB ready SP like Delgado or Leake, neither of whom I was all that excited about. Good to see we just added our future potential #1. God bless Span…
      I really want to know if Meyer's potential eclipse's Delgado's. Since they were going to trade him for half a season of Dempster I figured the Twins could have gotten him for Span, could be wrong. Certainly this time last year Delgado would have been more highly touted. I sure like the way Meyer's stuff reads. He turned down $2 million from the Red Sox to go to Kentucky in 2008. He's a Scott Boras client. I think this guy will overcome any concerns. There's been plenty of tall pitchers who thrived.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Is there an ignore feature on this site? Serious question.
      No, but I've thought about looking into it, if only for my own sanity.
      Whew, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      I understand that we don't need Span. Doesn't Span have alot more value than Meyer? Doesn't Span have more value than Benson, Hicks, ect,?
      Why the rush to trade him? Would not Benson or Hicks for Meyer be better? Could we make the same or better deal next fall?
      Benson would not land you anything close to Meyer, his value is about as low as it could be currently.
      Sure the Twins could have maybe traded Hicks for Meyer, but it would have been a mistake. As nice as 3 years of Span would be, 6+ years of Hicks (for even cheaper overall) is the superior choice to keep for a rebuilding team like the Twins.

      It should be noted that Hicks has a greater upside then Span had/has as he is a better fielder, has more speed on the basepaths, has more power, has a better arm and a better eye at the plate. The main question with Hicks at this point is will he be able to continue to hit for averag and continue to increase his power.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      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.
      Some of those college RP the Twins picked this season could/should be ready by 2015 as well.

      Though there are obviously still about 1000 questions with that lineup/rotation you mentioned, but it is fun to project what possibly could be!
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      I'm not so sure what is so ridiculous about that, if anything it shows how high of value a major league ready #2 has. Gonzalez was one of the best 5 pitchers in the game this year. Span highly likely won't even be one of the top 5 CF in baseball this year (if that is the comparison you are trying to draw)
      I had to read that twice, because I wasn't sure if you were referring to Gonzalez or Millone as the MLB ready #2 (You're referring to Gonzalez, right?)

      edit: because, at the time, they were both MLB ready no. 2's, even if BA didn't include Millone in their rankings.

      Gonzalez had a great year. Bill James thinks he will regress back into that no. 2.

      So, Peacock, Cole, Norris - they were all just gravy for the A's, along with the 3 extra years of team control on their new no. 2 starter.

      edit 2: again i don't have an angle. I'm not trying to grill JR or anything, I just can't get over how some of these deals come to pass and others don't.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      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 like your thinking and the 25-man payroll for 2015 in this configuration is only slightly north of $50M- which gives the club enormous wiggle room for tweaking and signing more top draft picks, international players and especially, FAs in areas of need. Too many on this board are wrapped up in what happens in 2013 when this scenario should be the priority.
    1. mikeee's Avatar
      mikeee -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Is there an ignore feature on this site? Serious question.
      No, but I've thought about looking into it, if only for my own sanity.
      This is vbulletin. It's there.
      In the upper right hand corner, click settings. On the left side there is "edit ignore list".
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      I understand that we don't need Span. Doesn't Span have alot more value than Meyer? Doesn't Span have more value than Benson, Hicks, ect,?
      Why the rush to trade him? Would not Benson or Hicks for Meyer be better? Could we make the same or better deal next fall?
      Benson would not land you anything close to Meyer, his value is about as low as it could be currently.
      Sure the Twins could have maybe traded Hicks for Meyer, but it would have been a mistake. As nice as 3 years of Span would be, 6+ years of Hicks (for even cheaper overall) is the superior choice to keep for a rebuilding team like the Twins.

      It should be noted that Hicks has a greater upside then Span had/has as he is a better fielder, has more speed on the basepaths, has more power, has a better arm and a better eye at the plate. The main question with Hicks at this point is will he be able to continue to hit for averag and continue to increase his power.
      Vodkadave... You should also mention that the Nationals would rather have Span right now because Span will be of more use in 2013.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      I'm not so sure what is so ridiculous about that, if anything it shows how high of value a major league ready #2 has. Gonzalez was one of the best 5 pitchers in the game this year. Span highly likely won't even be one of the top 5 CF in baseball this year (if that is the comparison you are trying to draw)
      I had to read that twice, because I wasn't sure if you were referring to Gonzalez or Millone as the MLB ready #2 (You're referring to Gonzalez, right?)

      edit: because, at the time, they were both MLB ready no. 2's, even if BA didn't include Millone in their rankings.

      Gonzalez had a great year. Bill James thinks he will regress back into that no. 2.

      So, Peacock, Cole, Norris - they were all just gravy for the A's, along with the 3 extra years of team control on their new no. 2 starter.

      edit 2: again i don't have an angle. I'm not trying to grill JR or anything, I just can't get over how some of these deals come to pass and others don't.
      Beane>Rizzo>Ryan
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      I'm not so sure what is so ridiculous about that, if anything it shows how high of value a major league ready #2 has. Gonzalez was one of the best 5 pitchers in the game this year. Span highly likely won't even be one of the top 5 CF in baseball this year (if that is the comparison you are trying to draw)
      I had to read that twice, because I wasn't sure if you were referring to Gonzalez or Millone as the MLB ready #2 (You're referring to Gonzalez, right?)

      edit: because, at the time, they were both MLB ready no. 2's, even if BA didn't include Millone in their rankings.

      Gonzalez had a great year. Bill James thinks he will regress back into that no. 2.

      So, Peacock, Cole, Norris - they were all just gravy, along with the 3 extra years of team control on their new no. 2 starter.
      This may be splitting hairs but I didn't hear anyone calling Millone a sure thing major league ready #2, Gonzalez was and continues to remain the much better pitcher. There is a reason why Millone wasn't cracking the top 100 lists everywhere... Peacock was the centerpiece of that trade, no?

      The comparison is still moot as Gonzalez is a top flight pitcher and Span is an above average CF. Which one of those are harder to find on the FA market/trade market?
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      I understand that we don't need Span. Doesn't Span have alot more value than Meyer? Doesn't Span have more value than Benson, Hicks, ect,?
      Why the rush to trade him? Would not Benson or Hicks for Meyer be better? Could we make the same or better deal next fall?
      Benson would not land you anything close to Meyer, his value is about as low as it could be currently.
      Sure the Twins could have maybe traded Hicks for Meyer, but it would have been a mistake. As nice as 3 years of Span would be, 6+ years of Hicks (for even cheaper overall) is the superior choice to keep for a rebuilding team like the Twins.

      It should be noted that Hicks has a greater upside then Span had/has as he is a better fielder, has more speed on the basepaths, has more power, has a better arm and a better eye at the plate. The main question with Hicks at this point is will he be able to continue to hit for averag and continue to increase his power.
      Vodkadave... You should also mention that the Nationals would rather have Span right now because Span will be of more use in 2013.
      I mean that is probably true, but I'm not sure the Nats would have told the Twins "we have no interest in Hicks". There is a decent to good chance that Hicks can contribute in 2013 and even though the Nats are set up very nicely for 2013, they are set up even more nicely for 2014-2015.I

      I guess what I am saying is it wouldn't have killed the Nats to bring in Hicks and keep Harper in CF for another half season. I'm just personally glad the Twins traded Span rather then Hicks.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      I'm not so sure what is so ridiculous about that, if anything it shows how high of value a major league ready #2 has. Gonzalez was one of the best 5 pitchers in the game this year. Span highly likely won't even be one of the top 5 CF in baseball this year (if that is the comparison you are trying to draw)
      I had to read that twice, because I wasn't sure if you were referring to Gonzalez or Millone as the MLB ready #2 (You're referring to Gonzalez, right?)

      edit: because, at the time, they were both MLB ready no. 2's, even if BA didn't include Millone in their rankings.

      Gonzalez had a great year. Bill James thinks he will regress back into that no. 2.

      So, Peacock, Cole, Norris - they were all just gravy, along with the 3 extra years of team control on their new no. 2 starter.
      This may be splitting hairs but I didn't hear anyone calling Millone a sure thing major league ready #2, Gonzalez was and continues to remain the much better pitcher. There is a reason why Millone wasn't cracking the top 100 lists everywhere... Peacock was the centerpiece of that trade, no?

      The comparison is still moot as Gonzalez is a top flight pitcher and Span is an above average CF. Which one of those are harder to find on the FA market/trade market?
      I'd say Billy Beane has hairsplitting down to an art/science. The Twins actually should be in a greater position of strength in conducting trades than the A's (the 2nd team in a market to the all-powerful Giants), who surely must have taken Hell in even considering dealing away Gonzalez.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      2015 at the earliest...so that's what we are shooting for...
      Barring any setbacks and expecting a standard progression, Meyer will be in AA this season.

      So you expect him to pitch 1 1/2 seasons in Rochester?
      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
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      It's not what the Twins loss, but waht did they gain in the next 4 years? Nothing!
      4? Meyers will be up in 3 or less, imo. They also freed up money, that they can now use to sign two legit pitchers, instead of one. Let's see what they do with the money before totally giving up on this year....
      You assume the money will be spent...we dropped 18M off 2011 payroll last year...didn't spend it
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      I understand that we don't need Span. Doesn't Span have alot more value than Meyer? Doesn't Span have more value than Benson, Hicks, ect,?
      Why the rush to trade him? Would not Benson or Hicks for Meyer be better? Could we make the same or better deal next fall?
      Benson would not land you anything close to Meyer, his value is about as low as it could be currently.
      Sure the Twins could have maybe traded Hicks for Meyer, but it would have been a mistake. As nice as 3 years of Span would be, 6+ years of Hicks (for even cheaper overall) is the superior choice to keep for a rebuilding team like the Twins.

      It should be noted that Hicks has a greater upside then Span had/has as he is a better fielder, has more speed on the basepaths, has more power, has a better arm and a better eye at the plate. The main question with Hicks at this point is will he be able to continue to hit for averag and continue to increase his power.
      Vodkadave... You should also mention that the Nationals would rather have Span right now because Span will be of more use in 2013.
      I mean that is probably true, but I'm not sure the Nats would have told the Twins "we have no interest in Hicks". There is a decent to good chance that Hicks can contribute in 2013 and even though the Nats are set up very nicely for 2013, they are set up even more nicely for 2014-2015.I

      I guess what I am saying is it wouldn't have killed the Nats to bring in Hicks and keep Harper in CF for another half season. I'm just personally glad the Twins traded Span rather then Hicks.
      The point is moot as the Nats already have their own Hicks in Brian Goodwin. Span has just become his placeholder.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      So we wait 2 more years for hicks while we could be playin span by that time buxton and a few more will be ready and Myers hasn't pitched yet.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      So we wait 2 more years for hicks while we could be playin span by that time buxton and a few more will be ready and Myers hasn't pitched yet.
      2 more years? There is a good chance Hicks is up this year, and barring a major injury or significant regression he will certainly be in the plans at the beginning of next year.

      Your being silly now with your (Meyer wont dont anything for 4 years and Hicks won't be ready for 2 years) when in fact that is simply false.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      I understand that we don't need Span. Doesn't Span have alot more value than Meyer? Doesn't Span have more value than Benson, Hicks, ect,?
      Why the rush to trade him? Would not Benson or Hicks for Meyer be better? Could we make the same or better deal next fall?
      Benson would not land you anything close to Meyer, his value is about as low as it could be currently.
      Sure the Twins could have maybe traded Hicks for Meyer, but it would have been a mistake. As nice as 3 years of Span would be, 6+ years of Hicks (for even cheaper overall) is the superior choice to keep for a rebuilding team like the Twins.

      It should be noted that Hicks has a greater upside then Span had/has as he is a better fielder, has more speed on the basepaths, has more power, has a better arm and a better eye at the plate. The main question with Hicks at this point is will he be able to continue to hit for averag and continue to increase his power.
      Vodkadave... You should also mention that the Nationals would rather have Span right now because Span will be of more use in 2013.
      I mean that is probably true, but I'm not sure the Nats would have told the Twins "we have no interest in Hicks". There is a decent to good chance that Hicks can contribute in 2013 and even though the Nats are set up very nicely for 2013, they are set up even more nicely for 2014-2015.I

      I guess what I am saying is it wouldn't have killed the Nats to bring in Hicks and keep Harper in CF for another half season. I'm just personally glad the Twins traded Span rather then Hicks.
      The point is moot as the Nats already have their own Hicks in Brian Goodwin. Span has just become his placeholder.
      Goodwin is a nice prospect, but lets not say he is "their Hicks" he has exactly 100 games in his professional career and struggled quite a bit in AA. Hicks is a easily a superior prospect to Goodwin at this time, ntm Goodwin still might be a corner OF instead of a CF anyways.
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