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  • In Terry I Trust

    If you were surprised in any way by return in the Denard Span trade, you shouldn't have been. Terry Ryan told us this was coming four months ago.

    Back in July, with the trade deadline approaching, Ryan spoke about his approach:

    As desperate as the Twins are to find starting pitching for 2013, a Liriano or Denard Span trade might not even address that specific need. Speaking only generally Thursday, GM Terry Ryan said, "When you're out there looking around, I think it's important you're always looking for the high-ceiling guy, whether he's major league-ready or whether he's in A-ball."

    To focus solely on the 2013 rotation "would be a terrible mistake," Ryan said.

    Ryan said the best target might be a Class A pitcher, who's further from the majors.

    "You can go get a marginal Triple-A guy who might be here next year," he said. "Are you going to be satisfied passing up a high-ceiling guy? I wouldn't be, but everybody has their own philosophy on that."
    The general manager's recent quotes after trading Span to the Nationals for Alex Meyer reflect the same mindset:

    "This guy, even though he's been in pro ball a short time, has first-round status," Ryan said. "He's out of the University of Kentucky, highly touted. These guys are hard to get, and if you are going to get them, it's going to be in the low to mid-minors. Once they get up to Double A or Triple A, they are almost impossible to get."
    This is what I love about Terry Ryan, particularly in contrast to his tight-lipped predecessor, whose initials were fittingly "B.S." With TR, you know what you're getting. While I don't necessarily always agree with his methods, I trust the man.

    That's why I feel good about this trade. Given that the Twins were known to be talking to the Nationals back in July, when Ryan was describing a "high-ceiling guy" who might be in A-ball, there's a good chance he was targeting Meyer who fits that bill exactly. (Worth noting that Meyer could not technically be traded then as he was less than a year removed from signing, but could have been shipped as a PTBNL.)


    Back around the deadline, a source (from the Nats?) told Jon Heyman that the Twins were "asking a ton" for Span, who didn't end up getting moved.

    Many people seem disappointed Ė or at best unenthused Ė about the return for Span. But it seems clear that one side finally relinquished in this long-time haggling over the center fielder, and the timing would suggest it was Washington's Mike Rizzo. After all, just days earlier he'd watched division rival Atlanta sign center fielder B.J. Upton to a huge five-year deal. That's pressure.

    My take is that Ryan coveted Meyer highly and the Nationals were very reluctant to give him up, even in a one-for-one swap that brought back a very valuable established player. And why not? Meyer has a first-round pedigree, a fastball that registers in the high-90s and a physical build that could portend dominance. Legitimate top-of-the-rotation potential.

    No prospect is a sure thing, which is the scary part of all this, but if Meyer develops even into a quality No. 3, six cost-controlled seasons of his service at a time where the price of free agent pitching is escalating will make this a knockout victory. If he turns into a true front line guy, Ryan's trade will be a success of franchise-altering proportions.

    Span was a largely underrated player and the Twins will miss him, but their long-term outfield depth made him relatively expendable. Ryan could have probably flipped Span for multiple lesser prospects or an ordinary major-league talent, but instead turned in his chip for the high-upside play.

    Just as he's said he would all along.
    This article was originally published in blog: In Terry I Trust started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 146 Comments
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by kirbyelway View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      i don't trust in terry at all. why should anyone? ryan stated in september to the season ticket holders one thing, and then did another. trustworthy? span has first round pedigree, too, and hey, so does levi machael. i'll be holding my breath on that one. on top of it all...... it was rizzo that had coveted span for a long time. terry ryan folded and got taken, and left cards on the table. it turns out that regardless of the contract, as reported today at mlb trade rumors, that rizzo and the nats wanted span more than any of the centerfielders available. ryan made the weak play. there was a takeaway not played, and an additional player to be had that ryan was not player enough to get. washington DID get a proven player ready to help immediately and for several years, and the twins got a hope.
      Obviously you think he should be able to work miracles. Give TR some time and you will see once again why he is a winner and he has this organization on the right path.

      I would say exactly the opposite!
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      and no I don't think Span would get it.
      ok thanks!
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      and no I don't think Span would get it.
      ok thanks!
      That's it huh? Yeah, that's what I figured.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      and no I don't think Span would get it.
      ok thanks!
      That's it huh? Yeah, that's what I figured.


      You guys had enough yet?
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      and no I don't think Span would get it.
      ok thanks!
      That's it huh? Yeah, that's what I figured.
      I already responded to the rest of your questions you asked for the most part, I don't feel like dancing in circles any more with you. You said Span is more valuable (taking money off the table) then Upton, myself and every GM in the league disagree with you.

      Also, I didn't say you knew nothing about baseball, I said that if you only use one years worth of defensive metric data you were either:
      A. Being Disingenuous
      B. Knew nothing about baseball.

      It was an either/or scenario.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      and no I don't think Span would get it.
      ok thanks!
      That's it huh? Yeah, that's what I figured.
      I already responded to the rest of your questions you asked for the most part, I don't feel like dancing in circles any more with you. You said Span is more valuable (taking money off the table) then Upton, myself and every GM in the league disagree with you.

      Also, I didn't say you knew nothing about baseball, I said that if you only use one years worth of defensive metric data you were either:
      A. Being Disingenuous
      B. Knew nothing about baseball.

      It was an either/or scenario.
      You responded to:

      'Oh, you prefer to use UZR...so you prefer to use stats that help your debate and discard those that don't. Even though Fangraph does both stats, only one has merit? UZR doesn't really help you though. Not for the last three years. And Span DOES NOT have a negative DRS over the last three years in CF. He had 20 this year, 9 in 2011 (while only playing half a season, BTW) and a -5 in 2010. That's not a negative, that's a big positive.

      And don't talk to me about snarky comments...you began our debate saying I didn't know baseball cause you didn't agree with my opinion. Doesn't get much snarkier than that. Or is it only okay when you do it? '

      Really? You responded to me correcting your false statement about Span having a negative DRS over the last three years and me showing your UZR stats for the last three years didn't help your cause for Upton?

      And since I've cleared showed I'm not being disingenuous, that only leaves you to believe I don't know baseball. Basically it comes down to you saying if I don't have your opinion, I don't know baseball.

      But okay, if you say so
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      I'm done with this...unless you wanna keep going round and round Dave...
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      and no I don't think Span would get it.
      ok thanks!
      That's it huh? Yeah, that's what I figured.


      You guys had enough yet?
      That image is accurate, as I am certainly right handed.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      At! least you guys aren't catty
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      and no I don't think Span would get it.
      ok thanks!
      That's it huh? Yeah, that's what I figured.


      You guys had enough yet?
      That image is accurate, as I am certainly right handed.
      Ah, you're cute...delusional, but cute
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      I'm done with this debate. It's been, well, interesting
      I can't help but notice you didn't answer the question:

      If Span were a free agent this year, would he get a 5/75 contract?

      If you think he would, then I guess he has at least the same value as Upton, if you think he wouldn't, then I guess he wouldn't have as much value. Yes or no?
      Not to get into the middle of this mess, but the Span value discussion intrigues me. Lets look at a comparison:
      G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
      Player A 136 488 69 120 26 0 29 98 4 1 56 150 .246 .332 .477 .810 121
      Player B 146 573 79 141 29 3 28 78 31 6 45 169 .246 .298 .454 .752 109

      Offensively they are not tremendously different. Player B steals more bases. Player A provides more power. Both are FA, Player A is 32 and a corner OF, Player B is 27 and a CF.

      Player A is Josh Willingham - 2011
      Player B is BJ Upton - 2012

      While there will be some value difference based on age and position, is there really a 3/$21 vs 5/$75 difference? I don't think so.

      Name recognition can be a huge factor. Nobody comes to see unassuming Denard Span, everybody wants to see BJ Upton, who has been hyped and effectively overrated from the moment he was brought up.

      I don't think Denard Span would get a 5/$75 deal as a FA, but I also don't think Upton's value is that much higher than Span's either. Just my 2 cents.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post

      Not to get into the middle of this mess, but the Span value discussion intrigues me. Lets look at a comparison:
      G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
      Player A 136 488 69 120 26 0 29 98 4 1 56 150 .246 .332 .477 .810 121
      Player B 146 573 79 141 29 3 28 78 31 6 45 169 .246 .298 .454 .752 109

      Offensively they are not tremendously different. Player B steals more bases. Player A provides more power. Both are FA, Player A is 32 and a corner OF, Player B is 27 and a CF.

      Player A is Josh Willingham - 2011
      Player B is BJ Upton - 2012

      While there will be some value difference based on age and position, is there really a 3/$21 vs 5/$75 difference? I don't think so.

      Name recognition can be a huge factor. Nobody comes to see unassuming Denard Span, everybody wants to see BJ Upton, who has been hyped and effectively overrated from the moment he was brought up.

      I don't think Denard Span would get a 5/$75 deal as a FA, but I also don't think Upton's value is that much higher than Span's either. Just my 2 cents.
      Great comparison. Smart people go after the Denard Spans and Josh Willinghams of the world. They're going to bring a lot of value to the team for not a lot of cash. Not-as-smart people do things like give BJ Upton $75m. Not that I think the Braves are dumb; they're one of the smarter organizations in baseball... but that doesn't mean they can't do dumb things.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Well, I think this thread helped us learn a lot about certain posters, if nothing else. I am stunned that someone on the internet failed to apologize for his comments and, in spite of evidence to the contrary, dug in and purposefully ignored/misunderstood other posters to do so. Absolutely stunned.
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Well, I think this thread helped us learn a lot about certain posters, if nothing else. I am stunned that someone on the internet failed to apologize for his comments and, in spite of evidence to the contrary, dug in and purposefully ignored/misunderstood other posters to do so. Absolutely stunned.
      I am shocked, shocked! to find that gambling is going on in here.

      Your winnings, sir.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Well, I think this thread helped us learn a lot about certain posters, if nothing else. I am stunned that someone on the internet failed to apologize for his comments and, in spite of evidence to the contrary, dug in and purposefully ignored/misunderstood other posters to do so. Absolutely stunned.
      Agreed, I'm completely disillusioned, usually things are much more impartial around here.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post

      Not to get into the middle of this mess, but the Span value discussion intrigues me. Lets look at a comparison:
      G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
      Player A 136 488 69 120 26 0 29 98 4 1 56 150 .246 .332 .477 .810 121
      Player B 146 573 79 141 29 3 28 78 31 6 45 169 .246 .298 .454 .752 109

      Offensively they are not tremendously different. Player B steals more bases. Player A provides more power. Both are FA, Player A is 32 and a corner OF, Player B is 27 and a CF.

      Player A is Josh Willingham - 2011
      Player B is BJ Upton - 2012

      While there will be some value difference based on age and position, is there really a 3/$21 vs 5/$75 difference? I don't think so.

      Name recognition can be a huge factor. Nobody comes to see unassuming Denard Span, everybody wants to see BJ Upton, who has been hyped and effectively overrated from the moment he was brought up.

      I don't think Denard Span would get a 5/$75 deal as a FA, but I also don't think Upton's value is that much higher than Span's either. Just my 2 cents.
      Great comparison. Smart people go after the Denard Spans and Josh Willinghams of the world. They're going to bring a lot of value to the team for not a lot of cash. Not-as-smart people do things like give BJ Upton $75m. Not that I think the Braves are dumb; they're one of the smarter organizations in baseball... but that doesn't mean they can't do dumb things.
      I agree with everything you said, as I mentioned, for the money Span is the man to go with on this.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Well, I think this thread helped us learn a lot about certain posters, if nothing else. I am stunned that someone on the internet failed to apologize for his comments and, in spite of evidence to the contrary, dug in and purposefully ignored/misunderstood other posters to do so. Absolutely stunned.
      I'd still like to hear how BJ Upton is a better player then Denard Span, especially moving forward. Not a better value, not a better person, a better player. Show me evidence to the contrary and I will tend to agree, I have been posting with a number of these guys for 5+ years, they know I will change my opinion on a player all the time when presented with new evidence/ideas.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      Comparing Josh Willingham's and B.J. Upton's offensive statistics is fine. What about their defensive stats? What else do they bring to the table (experience, knowledge of certain division's pitchers, etc.)

      I contend that Josh Willingham is more valuable to the Twins than he would be to nearly any other team. He hits his homers along the left field line: Willingham is made for Target Field.

      Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are also great hitters – but they are lefties. But their production dropped when they began playing at Target Field – in part because of injuries, but in part because of the field itself. Every field has its quirks, I think the M&M boys are coming back with a huge season in 2013, because their injuries are hopefully behind them, and they're going to take even more advantage of Target Field – not in the same way Willingham does, but they will tweak their game some more yet to take advantage of TF.

      I know, I know, I'm dreaming. But I see TF becoming less and less a pitcher's field and more of a balanced field between pitchers and hitters.

      I hope Willingham, Morneau and Mauer will all be around to help the Twins in 2013.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by lee_the_twins_fan View Post
      Comparing Josh Willingham's and B.J. Upton's offensive statistics is fine. What about their defensive stats? What else do they bring to the table (experience, knowledge of certain division's pitchers, etc.)

      I contend that Josh Willingham is more valuable to the Twins than he would be to nearly any other team. He hits his homers along the left field line: Willingham is made for target Field.

      Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are also great hitters – and they are lefties. But their production dropped when they began playing at Target Field – in part because of injuries, but in part because of the field itself. Every field has its quirks, I think the M&M boys are coming back with a huge season in 2013, because their injuries are hopefully behind them, and they're going to take even more advantage of Target Field – not in the same way Willingham does, but they will tweak their game some more yet to take advantage of TF.

      I know, I know, I'm dreaming. But I see TF becoming less and less a pitcher's field and more of a balanced field between pitchers and hitters.

      I hope Willingham, Moorneau and Mauer will all be around to help the Twins in 2013.
      I agree...but I'd like to point out that according to ESPN park factor information, TF was a hitter's park last year. Ranked 10th. I'd also like to point out that in 2010, Morneau was having an MVP type season before the concussion and had an OPS over .900 at TF.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      Yes, I did not realize that... Interesting it was 10th in runs scored, 11th in hits and 14th in home runs in 2012. In 2011, however, it was 21st in runs scored, 20th in home runs and tied for 11th in hits.

      I suspect Minnesota's bad pitching last year contributed to the increased run production on ESPN's chart.

      It appears the field has essentially leveled out between pitching and hitting.
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