Action Plan for the Second Half of 2012--Part 3
Clear a spot in the outfield for a hitter
The Twins currently start two outfielders, Span and Revere, who have good batting averages but slugging percentages under .400 and very low power numbers. It is my belief that they can't be serious about contending with two such starters in the outfield. Also, they have substandard to nonexistent power at other positions--2nd base and SS--so that too high a percentage of their home runs comes from two players--Plouffe and Willingham. They need extra base power from both corner OF spots and they won't get it with Revere.
Span is a prototypical leadoff hitter, a speedy runner, and a good center fielder. He hits lefties very well, so that he isn't a candidate to be platooned. He has a long-term contract that is regarded as "team-friendly" and he is 28 years old. Span has shown that he can play any of the outfield positions well. He missed a lot of time with concussion/vertigo issues last year, but those problems appear to be in his rear-view mirror.
Revere is an aggressive swinging singles hitter with tremendous speed. His speed helps him get on base, disrupts opponents when he gets on base, and allows him to roam far and wide to run down balls in the outfield. He also carries two big negatives--he doesn't drive the ball often enough for outfielders to play him honest and he has a weak throwing arm allowing others to take extra bases. This season, Revere is hitting well over .300 and has shown he can go get 'em in the outfield.
I think that Revere has shown enough that the Twins should proceed with trading Span. They need to get good value in what comes back, hopefully in areas of need. Revere would succeed Span as the leadoff guy and while he wouldn't work the count like Span does, he has shown the ability to get on base and he has shown he can steal bases and distract opponents.
For the short term a Span trade would get Revere's superior range in center field and most likely a less adept fielder in right field. Long term, the Twins have several candidates for center and the corners who could provide more punch but still provide good defense and range. A Span trade would put Revere in his natural position, potentially add talent to a position of weakness, and provide a position for another hitter with power on the team. Unless Revere goes in the tank or no one offers enough for Span, I think the incumbent Twins' center fielder should be moved.