08-01-2012, 07:36 AM #1
One thing we tend to overlook about Span
Going into this deadline, we kind of gave Span a pass for the past two seasons where he's been a pretty mediocre player, posting a 1.2 WAR in 2010 and a 2.3 WAR in last year's injury-plagued season. this season, he's already sitting at a 3.2 WAR with an OPS over .060 higher than he's posted since his very good 2009 campaign.
It's not surprising that other teams were a little hesitant to meet the (reportedly) high asking price set by Ryan. I also don't blame Ryan for not lowering that price. Span looks to be on the rebound and if he continues his current pace through the end of the season, he should easily match the career high WAR of 4.2 he posted in 2008. Span is still on the right side of 30 and is signed for three more seasons after this one.
We talk a lot about selling high on this board. Right now, Span's value is moderately high. But it could go higher if he posts an entire season of 4+ WAR ball with an OPS+ of 110, two things he hasn't done since his first season with the club.
I'm disappointed that there wasn't more action on the trade front yesterday. On the other hand, if we truly want to see JR sell high on his players, holding on to Span isn't the worst idea in the world. Going into this season, he looked like a player on the decline, posting an OPS+ well under 100 for two consecutive seasons. It's not surprising that teams were a little hesitant to loot the farm for Denard.
If he keeps hitting like he's done this season, he quickly shoots back onto the list of premiere center fielders in baseball. Not elite, but very good and well above average. And, more importantly, with a much higher value than he had going into this season and a higher value than he has right now.
08-01-2012, 08:18 AM #2
Wasn't he injured in both 2010 and 2011 or did the inner ear thing go back to 2009? While not as scary as Morneau's history, it seems to me that there are red flags about Span, too.
I jsut hope that the Twins can keep both Morneau and Span on the field so that there's some chance of increasing their value. Everybody else, too.
I've been holding my breath on the injury front.
08-01-2012, 08:30 AM #3
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Not everyone has overlooked it. I've advocated keeping him for some time. If the point is to create a roster that can compete 3 years down the line, I think Span can be a part of that roster (although perhaps in left or right instead of center).
08-01-2012, 08:32 AM #4
But that doesn't mean JR needed to trade Span yesterday. He is signed through October of 2015. There is plenty of time to maximize his value and keep him around until the next wave of prospects arrive. I would have liked to see him traded (just to get prospects in the system and working toward the majors) but if the right deal wasn't on the table, JR was right to just keep him.
08-01-2012, 08:35 AM #5
I honestly think after this season the Twins should trade Revere at his high point, the return won't be as great but I worry about Revere's ability to continue to hit above .310 moving forward.
If he dips down to the .275 range he suddenly becomes a rather weak link in a persons lineup. Though having his speed in the lineup is nice as well, plus he is super cheap.
In regards to Span, it should be noted that for the most part there weren't exactly a ton of top prospects that were traded this trade season, the package for Grienke wasn't awful, but only had one real nice player and even he isn't that special. Guys that were rated high prior to 2012 like Cox and Turner were traded, but both have lost a bit of value with medicore 2012 campaigns.
I'm not sure if its the new FA compensation plan or the fact that teams are now capped in the draft, but teams seem to be holding onto there prospects much tighter this year.
Last edited by SpiritofVodkaDave; 08-01-2012 at 08:37 AM.
08-01-2012, 08:36 AM #6
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08-01-2012, 08:39 AM #7
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Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
08-01-2012, 08:45 AM #8
Like everything else, it's a risk. Span could fall on his face at any moment but given his track record, if he's healthy, he's well above average. If he posts an entire healthy season with a .750 OPS, that goes a long way toward assuring teams that his 2010/11 were the aberrations, not his 2008/9 seasons.
08-01-2012, 08:50 AM #9
08-01-2012, 08:50 AM #10
But even with Pierre's good (for him) offensive season, he's not in the same class as Revere defensively. Slot Revere over to CF (where he should be) and his value shoots through the roof while Pierre and Podsednik are nothing more than light-hitting corner outfielders at this point.
08-01-2012, 09:06 AM #11
But you always have to remember that it is "all about the money"
Span: 2013 - $4.75 million; 2014 - $6.5 million; 2015 - $9 million club option ($.5 million buyout)
Revere: I don't think he becomes eligible for arbitration until after next year and then still 3 years of arbitration (still likely to keep him significantly cheaper than Span)
Seems to me the Twins are more likely to trade Span with the possibility still being there to trade BOTH Span and Revere depending on what some of the minor leaguers do.
Part of the formula for success for small or mid-market teams is to keep replacing more expensive players with younger, cheaper models.
08-01-2012, 09:11 AM #12
I thought what we overlooked was just how brutal he is as a base-stealer for his speed. Good god is he bad. Think how much better his .360ish OBP would look if he could actually swipe a bag from time to time.
08-01-2012, 09:14 AM #13
08-01-2012, 09:26 AM #14
08-01-2012, 09:30 AM #15
08-01-2012, 09:30 AM #16
08-01-2012, 09:38 AM #17
If I'm another team looking for a center fielder, I'm calling on Revere. Range, swiping ability, serf-salary, service time, no walks but no strikeouts either.
Yes, he's give or take the second coming of Juan Pierre. But Juan Pierre in his prime would give you between around 3.4 WAR a year. Since now we know he can make contact at this level, it's pretty clear exactly what you're getting and what you should expect to pay for it. I like Span a lot, but the armchair GM for an arbitrary team would suggest that the savings and the service time on Revere are probably more valuable in terms of building a team.AKA: TMW
08-01-2012, 10:08 AM #18
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08-01-2012, 10:13 AM #19
08-01-2012, 11:05 AM #20
I just looked at the AA New Britain Rock Cat roster. In the outfield they have
We all know that AA is the level where teams put their blue-chip prospects just before they jump them to the show. At least a couple of these guys will be called up in September, maybe three of them. Arcia, Benson and Hicks are all high-ceiling prospects, and Tosoni has already played at the major league level, and he looked pretty good before he got hurt.
The 2013 Twins might just have a whole new outfield. Whether Denard Span remains may depend on his willingness to shift to right field, where I believe he would be an all-star. Otherwise, with Arcia in LF, Benson in CF and Hicks in RF, you've got solid LF, plus speed/plus arm in CF, and good speed/cannon arm in RF.
Where do Span and Revere fit into this picture? Revere might stick for defense and lead-off hitting if his average stays above .300. It's nice to have speed at all three outfield positions with a slim lead in a close game. Span's in the same situation. He's an established lead-off hitter, and a good one. Better arm than Revere, almost as fast. Revere gets the nod for base stealing. Personally, I'd keep Revere and deal Span, because the younger guy can also hit first, has less injury history, and he's cheaper.
Denard Span is an excellent player, but the guys coming up may be even better, and we know the Twins are leaning towards getting younger and cheaper.