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What's is Span's off-season value?

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#1 gmarais66

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:36 AM

It's become obvious that the Twins' most significant need this off season will be pitching. They might be able to sign a free agent or two, but their best bet in obtaining a quality starter might be through a trade. The way it appears right now, with Revere solidifying his ability to be a starting centerfielder, and with Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia waiting in the wings, the Twins' most valuable trade chip this off-season will be Denard Span. Many teams are in need of a quality centerfielder/lead-off hitter and Span has put up consistently good numbers in his time with the Twins. His contract is also attractive to other teams that may be looking to acquire him. The one downside with Span is that he's had some injury issues, but injuries can happen to any player. There's a good bet that Span will be traded this off season, but what can the Twins realistically expect to receive for him, in the way of pitching? Is a top-line AAA pitcher out of the question? What are your thoughts?

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:43 AM

The Twins aren't going to get a top shelf pitcher for Span. Denard is a decent, but not spectacular, player and pitching prospect value is through the roof right now (all prospect value is through the roof, pitching is just more so).

The best bet for the Twins is a close to MLB pitcher with solid upside (a B prospect, maybe) and then a lower, raw guy that's a bigger question mark. It's also possible that they could squeeze a high upside guy in low/high A from a team as the centerpiece but it's unlikely that they will be able to pull a close to MLB prospect pitcher that is an "A" prospect.

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:53 AM

I had hoped he'd finish the year healthy - he was on pace for about a 5 WAR. If he had remained healthy, I think the Twins could have gotten a pretty good deal for him, considering his contract and potential demand for a lead off hitter (esp after the Reds flame out). I think the Twins will move him but it won't be for much. Other teams will point out he's only played in 178 games over the last two years which is a pretty good point. The Twins will probably be able to get a back of the rotation ready type starter (with good command and low Krates) and 1-2 low A/rookie ball guys with the hope that they develop. And that lets them move Revere to center and give RF to Parmelee until Arcia/Hicks is ready to come up.

But, who knows? Lead off hitters are always in demand. Ryan held onto a lot of players this trade deadline when he didn't think he got a good enough offer. Maybe other teams will know that and the Twins get more. I think Span would be a really good fit in Cincinnati - he'd probably hit about 10 HRs there.

#4 Monkeypaws

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:14 AM

The Twins aren't going to get a top shelf pitcher for Span. Denard is a decent, but not spectacular, player and pitching prospect value is through the roof right now (all prospect value is through the roof, pitching is just more so).


I'd settle for a pitcher that was merely decent in return; there aren't many Twins starters that are even decent, let alone spectacular.

#5 Rick Blaine

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:14 AM

Due to his health-- I don't think Ryan will be able to get much for Span-- even though he has all the positives that you mentioned. I would be very surprised if he is NOT traded, however. I sense that one if not two of Span, Willingham and Morneau will be moved. This would allow playing time for Parmelee and the others knocking at the door. The problem is -- all three have health questions that will affect what the Twins could get in return.

#6 JB_Iowa

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:39 AM

What's is Span's off-season value?

Diminishing.

It seems that with every off-season and trade deadline that goes by without trading Span, he gets older, the time left on his "team-friendly" contract gets shorter and he piles up injuries and DL time.

I don't think that Bill Smith should have traded him for a reliever but it seems like the window is closing pretty quickly.

#7 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:58 AM

Brock is exactly right.

And the Twins should trade Morneau instead (similar return).

#8 Top Gun

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:00 AM

Nobody wants Span trade a Ofer somebody wants.

#9 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:04 AM

Like good agents, good GM's can use timing to turn perception. Whenever free agent rumors for Michael Bourn start heating up, Ryan needs to start floating Span's name out. No one is going to view the two as equals, but GM's that want a defensively plus centerfielder and leadoff hitter but don't want to pay the salary will look at Span. I'm sure his injury history will hurt his value, but desperate GM's overpay for less all the time. Trevor Cahill got the A's Jarred Parker and then some last year.

#10 Winston Smith

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:28 AM

I'd like them to send him home to Tampa for Shields. Probably take an additional player or players to make it work but that would be a good start for the rotation. Pitching in the Central instead of the East his numbers would be even better. However, Shields is making enough I don't think he fits in the soon to be reduced payroll, est 85m?

#11 TRex

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:44 AM

In Twins-terms, I think the best they could do is something like Liam Hendriks... a pitcher without swing-and-miss stuff who succeeded in the minors but has struggled in the Majors.

#12 DPJ

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:57 AM

Counting that Span's value is pretty low, I fually expect the Twins to swing some BS trade that bring back a MLB ready prospect like Liam who can't break 90mph.

#13 ericchri

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:16 AM

I realize his injury history is going to depress his value somewhat, but I still can't help wondering about his quite high WAR value this season. GM's look at all sorts of stuff, and WAR might not be on that list, but it'd be pretty hard to rack up a high WAR value without actually being a good player. His baseball-reference WAR puts him as the 13th best player in the AL currently (well ahead of any other Twins players, including the presumed best trade piece availabe in Josh Willingham), though now that he's on the DL he'll gradually slide from that.

I don't know what he's worth, we won't know until he should actually get traded, but the comments in this thread make me wonder if he isn't being sold a little short. If we can get a pitching prospect with upside, regardless of level, I'll be happy, cause at some point we need to move outfielders, it's going to be a cluttered mess really quickly.

#14 StormJH1

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:16 AM

(Ugh, more WAR talk? I thought even the WAR apologists admit that it's pretty useless in the short-term, and can't compare full-season players to player who missed significant time from injury...)

I think Span has a little bit of value, but the concussion history and general durability issues have to be taken into consideration. The good side of him is that he has 2 more years plus a team option on his deal, and it's a pretty reasonable deal compared to if you just went and signed a player on the FA market.

But then there's the bad side. He'll be 29 at the start of next season, and 29 is actually starting to get old for a CF. Go to Yahoo or ESPN's depth chart and just start clicking around the league looking at CF - only the more elite CF'ers are starters into their 30's. Their either moved to a corner spot, or end up out of baseball if they can't hit. It seems absurd to think of Span as "old", but as CF'ers go, he'll be there soon.

Also, he so bad at reading pickoff attempts that it basically neuters any effectiveness he might have as a basestealer.

I just think it's dumb for the front office to resist rebuilding or the appearance of a rebuild, if the team is going to continue to win 60-70 games a year, which I believe it will for at least another year or two. It's not the concept of rebuilding fans hate, it's the LOSING. But if you're losing anyway, what's the point of offering a stagnant product with Carroll, Casilla, Morneau and Span to the fans? There are guys that can basically do Revere and Paremelee can basically do Span and Morneau's job now, at a fraction of the price. That's the harsh reality.

#15 Boom Boom

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:29 AM

A fringey long reliever/5th starter and an all-glove utility infielder.

#16 TK10

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:35 AM

How about Span and a prospect to the Giants for Ryan Vogelsong? Then flip Morneau to the Jays for Ricky Romero and an upside pitching prospect. Used the money saved to make a competitive offer to Greinke. That gives you a rotation of: Greinke, Vogelson, Romero, Diamond and Gibson. You could then start Hendricks in AAA.

#17 Nick Nelson

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:51 PM

I realize his injury history is going to depress his value somewhat, but I still can't help wondering about his quite high WAR value this season. GM's look at all sorts of stuff, and WAR might not be on that list, but it'd be pretty hard to rack up a high WAR value without actually being a good player. His baseball-reference WAR puts him as the 13th best player in the AL currently (well ahead of any other Twins players, including the presumed best trade piece availabe in Josh Willingham), though now that he's on the DL he'll gradually slide from that.

In order to put stock into Span's WAR (at least the FanGraphs version), you have to buy into the premise that he's an elite defensive center fielder. His 6.1 UZR score (accrued in a 100-game sample) rates out to 8.0 UZR/150, which would rank him third out of 17 qualifying MLB center fielders. This is one of the biggest reasons his WAR is so high.

Do GMs around the league actually consider Span an elite defender in center? I doubt it.

#18 gmarais66

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:01 PM

Do GMs around the league actually consider Span an elite defender in center? I doubt it.


I don't know if they consider him an elite defender, but I would think they regard him as a very good defensive centerfielder... He covers a lot of ground, makes some impressive catches and has a good arm... This combined with his skills as a high-quality leadoff hitter, who hits well against both left and right-handed pitching, make him a desireable centerfielder....

#19 Twins Twerp

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:35 PM

I agree gmarais, he is not elite. He is very good, but elite would be an 80 like Trout. He has an above-average to good arm. He is all around still a solid player and would be a good pick-up for any team, if he were healthy. But the fact that we are going into the offseason with him on the DL for a second straight year, I don't see his value very high. I used think that he was a lock to get traded, but I see TR keeping him. What is the harm in keeping him until early next summer. Hopefully, he brings up his trade value while we let Arcia and Hicks develop slowly.

I don't think you get anything better than a B+ low minor level prospect.

I would also like to point out, that if traded, I would be very ok with Mastrianni being in the mix for right fielder until Arcia and Hicks get enough at-bats at AAA. Or until the arbitration deadline is passed. The guy is a dude who in a full season could hit for decent average, play just as good defense as Span, and is a much better baserunner than Span. He obviously has less value, but we have him for another 5 years before arbitration and he might be our 4th outfielder for the forseable future (all this said assuming Parmalee is at first and Mornie is traded as well). Go Twins.

#20 Twins Twerp

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:48 PM

How about Span and a prospect to the Giants for Ryan Vogelsong? Then flip Morneau to the Jays for Ricky Romero and an upside pitching prospect. Used the money saved to make a competitive offer to Greinke. That gives you a rotation of: Greinke, Vogelson, Romero, Diamond and Gibson. You could then start Hendricks in AAA.


How great would that be? Except if we were get Ricky Romero, WE would have to be the ones kicking in a pitching prospect (upside if we could find one, which we do not have). Romero is having an obviously horrible run right now, but he still has more value than an average firstbasemen with a well documented history of concussions and other random (wrist) injuries.

As far as Greike goes, no chance. I think he would dominate in a small/medium market like Minnesota, but the price tag would be too great. Probably over 20 mil for at least 8 years. I don't see TR putting that kind of money into one guy (unless he's a catcher). The name that I like is Marcum. But he won't be cheap either. TR is going to have to spend at least 15 million to get a decent, top to mid of the rotation kind of guy. Whether he is willing to do it is the question.

#21 TK10

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:49 PM

If the goal is to trade both Span and Morneau, which I think it should be, why not plan for Parmalee at first and Mauer in right? Mauer is a better athlete than Parmalee and seems more adaptable to right. You'd have to think that right would put even less wear and tear on Mauer's body than first would. A full season in right could mean a return to batting titles for Mauer. From there, why not Revere in center and Mastroianni in left with Willingham as the every day DH. That way you don't have to rush any of the OF kids. Revere leading off with Mastroianni in the two-hole could be really exciting.

#22 Twins Twerp

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:52 PM

If the goal is to trade both Span and Morneau, which I think it should be, why not plan for Parmalee at first and Mauer in right? Mauer is a better athlete than Parmalee and seems more adaptable to right. You'd have to think that right would put even less wear and tear on Mauer's body than first would. A full season in right could mean a return to batting titles for Mauer. From there, why not Revere in center and Mastroianni in left with Willingham as the every day DH. That way you don't have to rush any of the OF kids. Revere leading off with Mastroianni in the two-hole could be really exciting.


Great words of wisdom TK. The move Mauer debate needs to be brought up in full force this summer.

#23 TK10

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:00 PM

Twins Twerp:

I fear you're right on Greinke, but you can't blame me for dreaming. Greinke would do well here; I think his, shall we say, quirky personality would endear him in this market.

I love Vogelsong too. A guy's who's earned everything the hard way. If Romero is a pipe-dream, perhaps Morneau for Vogelsong?

As far as Span, I'd give him away for a B prospect. Anything to get Revere in center.

Edited by TK10, 06 September 2012 - 02:03 PM.


#24 twinswon1991

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:22 PM

TR missed the boat and now Span's trade value is nil.

With younger, cheaper, better defenders such as Bourjos, Parra and GoGo availble this offseason via trade why give up anything for Span. Heck, Span has much better OBP than GoGo but that advantage is lost due to caught stealings and pickoffs.

I like WAR for the long run but it is worthless in the short run if it says Span is +5. It needs to ind a better way of properly valuing D and accountinf for bonehead plays that cost teams outs.

#25 70charger

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

I like WAR for the long run but it is worthless in the short run if it says Span is +5.


Begging the question.

#26 JP3700

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:27 PM

Just curious what everyone thinks of Denard for Randall Delgado of the braves. I know it might be a stretch considering Delgado was a top 50 prospect coming into the season, but I think it may be reasonable considering the braves will need a CF/lead off hitter, they are on a limited budget, they are STACKED with starting pitching, and they were also offering him in the Ryan Dempster deal which fell through. So isn't 3 years of Denard at a good salary equal or more valuable than Dempster as a rental? I would definitely be happy with Delgado in the rotation next year.

#27 CDog

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:47 PM

Heck, Span has much better OBP than GoGo but that advantage is lost due to caught stealings and pickoffs.


Span has been caught stealing or picked off a total of 8 times this year. Gomez 7. While Span has an extra 128 plate appearances (and 16 fewer stolen base attempts). Span has a .048 advantage in OBP.

#28 kab21

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:45 AM

I don't have any problem trading Span but I don't think he'll bring back enough to make a trade worthwhile.

I would be on board trading Span for Shields if the Twins were also willing to shell out the money for Greinke and really try to be competitive. the important thing about this deal is that they haven't really hurt their future much.

I can understand that he's going to make too much but this is true of all FA pitchers. If you aren't willing to spend then you are going to be shopping in the Livan/Marquis/Ortiz section of the market. guys like Anibal/Marcum/Jackson are going to get 10-15M/yr. Marcum is actually pretty good but he seems like an injury waiting to happen.

Edited by kab21, 08 September 2012 - 03:53 AM.