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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?

#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"