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Cafardo: Denard Span remains on Nationals' radar.

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:53 AM

According to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, the Washington Nationals still have interest in Twins' center fielder Denard Span, whom they had shown interest in a year ago.

He remains on Washington’s radar, but with Nationals closer Drew Storen on the DL, a deal is on hold for a while.


As I noted the first time around when the Span-for-Storen rumors cropped up, (1) I did not like the idea of trading a position player for a closer and (2) Storen's arm action led me to believe that he will eventually have elbow problems (eventually, by the way, became this spring and he still has yet to throw a pitch in 2012). I sincerely doubt (or at least hold out hope) that the Twins still are interested in that particular proposal.

Nonetheless, with the current record, focus will begin to slowly shift towards the future of this club. Obviously there will be a gaping need in the rotation and some critical positions (such as second base, third base, etc) will need to be addressed. Right now with Span hitting .308/.357/.383, playing solid defense in center and signed to a team-friendly contract, he appears to be the Twins' lone trading chip that can actually land the organization decent players. The Nationals have developed a good farm system (John Sickels at MinorLeagueBall.com ranks them 13th overall) so there may be an opportunity to address some needs for 2013 and beyond.

What do you think? If the Twins current pace remains, do you move Denard Span and what do you want in return?


#2 kmerfi

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:57 AM

I'm skeptical about this, because I doubt the Nationals are looking for another outfielder. They already have Jayson Werth and his massive contract out there, and then have Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, Xavier Nady and now Bryce Harper out there, as well. Unless they move some of their outfielders, I think it'd be hard for that to happen.

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

I just posted this elsewhere but the Twins should get a Pence-like deal for Span (4 prospects, 2 top 50). I'm not sure the Nats have what we need (a lot of their best prospects are hurt and/or within a year of being drafted). I think we'd be better off looking elsewhere. A good CFer, LH, high on-base guy with a team friendly contract should be something nearly every team should want. I think teams like the Giants (Angel Pagan leading off in CF) or the Reds (Stubbs have been a bust) could really use Span since they both seem to be in win now modes.

#4 Parker Hageman

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

I doubt the Nationals are looking for another outfielder


From what I understand, they are targeting Span more as a lead-off hitter. After all, they are using Ian Desmond, who has a .295 OBP, as their lead off guy right now.

#5 JeffB

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

But isn't Span a piece of the near-future since he's affordable and a known quantity? There's no guarantee Benson, Hicks, Plouffe, Tosoni are locks for starting OF.

#6 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:17 PM

Philly and Texas have better pitching in the minors, don't they?
Lighten up Francis....

#7 DJSim22

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:38 PM

Without a doubt, Span is the main trading piece, and I would be disappointed in TR if he did not trade him before the trade deadline. The sooner, the better imo. I like Span, think he's a very good lead off hitter, but we need more pieces to the puzzle and trading him likely improves the team as a whole. TR has to try it.

#8 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

Most of us have focused on the name Drew Storen as he was the name mentioned last yr. This yr, he's obviously out. I dont even open up the discussions with WASH w/o Jordan Zimmerman being the guy coming back. 26 yr old RHP, already had TJ surgery (YEAH) & throws over 93mph. He's got 4 yrs (counting this yr) till FA and would immediatley become our ace. This would also allow Ben Revere to step right into CF & not have to worry about a followup concussion.

#9 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:07 PM

I might be interested if the Twins would subsequently move Joe Mauer to the leadoff spot.

#10 cr9617

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:26 PM

But isn't Span a piece of the near-future since he's affordable and a known quantity? There's no guarantee Benson, Hicks, Plouffe, Tosoni are locks for starting OF.


The Twins could lose 90-100 games with or without Span. I would hate to see him go but, if he can return a quality starter or more, you gotta make that move. If you can't pitch, you cant' win...

#11 davidjcampbell

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:36 PM

The Twins could lose 90-100 games with or without Span. I would hate to see him go but, if he can return a quality starter or more, you gotta make that move. If you can't pitch, you cant' win...


According to fangraphs, his WAR in 2011 was 2.2, so far this year it is 0.7 - to me that is replaceable on this team. He has value, the Twins should use that value to get new guys in the system.

I am in favor of a move that will get us a number of actual prospects to move Span this year. The team doesn't need bodies that will fill up the AA and AAA rosters for the next 4-5 years - the Twins need guys who will be able to produce "at the major league level."

#12 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

Span's WAR ranks him 13th among centerfielders this year. He would be a real upgrade to a few competing teams, but the Twins need to play hardball. He is an asset and will be an asset next year. They can replace his defense with Revere but not his lead off ability. Revere does not get on base enough. I don't see another lead off hitter in the system close to ready for next year. They also have him under a reasonable contract.

#13 Rosterman

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:05 PM

Span is a lead-off hitter. He plays centerfield. He has a reasonable contract that will only sky-rocket in a couple of years. He has had health problems, he is replacable in the long-term, his value right now is fairly high, doubt that it could get higher. The question is what pieces (not a piece) can you get for him and why would another team do this.

#14 glunn

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:52 PM


The question is what pieces (not a piece) can you get for him and why would another team do this.


The ideal match would be a contender that needs a good centerfielder and who has a surplus of decent starters in its system. I would be happy to get a top rated AAA starter who is young and who strikes people out, plus one or two AA or A level starters who have decent upside. Would this be asking for too much?

#15 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:12 PM

The Twins can ask for a top level starter prospect, but I don't think it is reasonable. The Astros received 4 players for Michael Bourn. This was written last year in analysis of the deal. "The Great Astros Purge of '11 continues with Atlanta's thieving Bourn for Jordan Schafer and three prospects. None of the four project as anything more than mediocre big-league regulars. Bourn, in the meantime, is among the game's three best defensive center fielders and is primed to lead the league in steals for the third consecutive season." I would think Bourn had more value than Span when traded last year.

#16 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:18 PM

Denard Span is the living embodiment of what the Twins are (*coughs*) were for the past decade. It may be a good move, maybe even a smart move, but I pray that Terry Ryan doesn't pull the trigger. He's a great person, an EXCELLENT table setter offensively, and has the intangibles on defense. For as much as I hate the Nationals, I couldn't bear to see him in a red #2 (Unless they want to give us Strasburg haha).

#17 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:29 PM

The Twins are at a disadvantage. I cannot see any real contenders who would pursue Span that would give us an advantageous return. I like Span, I think he can be part of the solution. He is the sure bet. Our minor leagues, while highly rated, are unproven and utmostly a crap shoot. Also, Span can play all OF positions more than effectively. A trade I would propose, but is unrealistic would be this: Span, Wimmers, Guerra for Shelby Miller and Jon Jay of the Cardinals.

#18 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:33 PM

Span's WAR ranks him 13th among centerfielders this year. He would be a real upgrade to a few competing teams, but the Twins need to play hardball. He is an asset and will be an asset next year. They can replace his defense with Revere but not his lead off ability. Revere does not get on base enough. I don't see another lead off hitter in the system close to ready for next year. They also have him under a reasonable contract.


OH MY GOD, finally someone agrees with me about this.

#19 spideyo

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:40 PM

If we're still way below .500 ball a month or two from now, it makes sense to trade Span, but only if we get some guys who are ready to be MLB starters at the absolute latest by next year.

#20 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:49 PM

[quote name='Bark's Lounge;15315]TOur minor leagues' date=' while highly rated, are unproven and utmostly a crap shoot.[/QUOTE']

What I meant to say: "Our minor league outfielders, while highly rated, are unproven and at utmost a crap shoot"

#21 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:10 PM

I'm open to the idea of trading Span, but it had better be for some quality talent in return. Otherwise, we should just hold onto him. Also, there should not be any rush to make a move, and I would have to think that the Nationals would not be our only or even our best trading partner on this. I'm don't buy into this idea that we have to deal him now because he's our most tradeable asset, we need to shake things up, and he's replaceable. I am not so dismissive of what Span brings to the table. He's a legit leadoff hitter and solid defensive centerfielder with a team-friendly contract. He can be moved, but it has to be a move to help the Twins either now or down the road, not just for the sake of making a move.

#22 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:19 PM

"SUBSTANTIAL" needs to be and is the Key Word!

#23 CDog

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:23 PM

According to fangraphs, his WAR in 2011 was 2.2, so far this year it is 0.7 - to me that is replaceable on this team.


Not sure if you're considering the fact that that was in 70 games last year and 26 this year. If not, it certainly is a big thing to consider. Those both project to around 4.5 wins for a full season.

#24 Top Gun

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

Updating a previous item, Jayson Werth has been diagnosed with a broken left wrist.

Werth will visit with a specialist Monday, but is expected to miss ''at least six weeks,'' according to Nationals manager Davey Johnson. His absence creates a need in the outfield, and all but ensures Bryce Harper will avoid being sent down. Tyler Moore likely stands to benefit in the short-term, though the Nationals could also look outside the organization for depth.


Source: Amanda Comak on Twitter

#25 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

Good grief, trading any number of your very best players away is not something a team looking to rebuild should do. At all. Instead, the idea would have to be to package lesser players who might still be interesting to other teams but who annoy yours (Danny Valencia, Alexi Casilla, Matt Capps, Anthony Swarzak) with notable prospects (Ben Revere, Oswaldo Arcia, Angel Morales, Carlos Gutierrez, BJ Hermsen, Corey Williams, etc.) to get good value in a couple of trades (in this case, for starting pitching and maybe 3rd base).

#26 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:55 PM

For instance, are there really no possible good-great starting pitchers available for trade A: Danny Valencia, Anthony Swarzak, Oswaldo Arcia and BJ Hermsen, or trade B: Alexi Casilla, Matt Capps, Ben Revere and Carlos Gutierrez? The Twins have outfield and middle relief depth in the system. That's all the depth right now (though middle infield is changing for the better), but still.

#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:04 PM

Good grief, trading any number of your very best players away is not something a team looking to rebuild should do.


Actually, it sorta is. Knoblauch for Milton/Guzzy, AJ for Liriano/Nathan, Buchanan for Bartlett etc.

We're gonna lose a lot this season. Unless Morneau comes back from injury and comes back to his MVP self, our offense is gonna be bad and our pitching will remain very bad. Span is a great asset that could bring back potential impact players. No deal centered around Valencia, Swarzak and Arcia would. It's very likely that when we're good again, Hicks or Benson will be our best centerfielder.

#28 meister

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:09 PM

Couple thoughts... The Nations would love Denard Span to be their table-setting CF. Bernadina and Nady would be expendable to them if they had Span and they'd have no problem letting go of those strings. The Werth injury could spurn the Nat's to move more quickly, but there interest has to be very high regardless. The Nat's are adequate without Span, as Ankiel is decent enough and they are ok with Tyler Moore to get reps in place of Werth, but they would be far happier with Span. Jordan Zimmerman is off the table... just forget about that. The Nat's have not and will not give up quality young pitching that is extremely useful in their current pennent drive... has any team ever done such a thing? One problem with the Nat's is the Gio Gonzalez trade... the A's took most of what the Twins would have wanted for Span, so there is not much left to pick from and like another poster mentioned, what is left may not be trade elligible until after this year's draft (although that 1 year rule has been known to be waived with a simple request). Having said all that, I could see: Span for Daniel Rosenabum & future considerations (Anthony Rendon) Not the type of deal I'd usually see from the Nat's, but their M.O. has changed now that they think they can win now. IMO.

#29 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:15 PM

Actually, it sorta is. Knoblauch for Milton/Guzzy, AJ for Liriano/Nathan, Buchanan for Bartlett etc.

We're gonna lose a lot this season. Unless Morneau comes back from injury and comes back to his MVP self, our offense is gonna be bad and our pitching will remain very bad. Span is a great asset that could bring back potential impact players. No deal centered around Valencia, Swarzak and Arcia would. It's very likely that when we're good again, Hicks or Benson will be our best centerfielder.


Knoblauch? You mean the most under-appreciated Twin in my lifetime (31 years) . . . for Milton and Guzman? No. Bartlett? No. Yes, there is a point with AJ there but that was not also a simple rebuild decision but rather a this-guy-doesn't-fit-with-Mauer coming soon decision.

A team has to rebuild around something. Span is a good leadoff hitter who plays good defense. That is NOT common in baseball. You don't give that up unless someone is clearly there to replace him. And no one is right now. MAYBE this is a discussion for next year. Maybe.

#30 meister

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:16 PM

For instance, are there really no possible good-great starting pitchers available for trade A: Danny Valencia, Anthony Swarzak, Oswaldo Arcia and BJ Hermsen, or trade B: Alexi Casilla, Matt Capps, Ben Revere and Carlos Gutierrez? The Twins have outfield and middle relief depth in the system. That's all the depth right now (though middle infield is changing for the better), but still.


A. No, not for what we need, which is quality ballplayers for 2013 and beyond.

Capps could probably bring a low/medium level prospect or two, but packaging those mentioned just wouldn't be in anyone's interest. It would be great to keep Span, but being our top chip, you can't keep him AND get value coming back to us.