• Nationals Should Not Be Lone Suitor For Denard Span

    Last year in Twins Territory, Denard Span was the hot topic as the trade deadline approached, much to Span’s dismay. This year, we’ve read that the Nationals are still interested in Span. They certainly should be, given their stopgap centerfield solution, Rick Ankiel, is hitting just .221.

    But they likely aren’t going to be alone. Span plays a premier defensive position competently, but more importantly he gets on base as a leadoff hitter. One can bet a few of the below teams will at least be calling at the trade deadline this year.

    Los Angeles Dodgers
    The Dodgers have a pretty fair centerfielder already, though Matt Kemp is out with a hamstring injury for at least a few weeks. What they don’t have is a leadoff hitter who doesn’t induce nausea. That job was speedster Dee Gordon’s to start the year, but he’s posted a .275 OBP, so they have turned it over to Tony Gwynn Jr. while he fills in for Kemp.

    Whether or not they need Span depends on whether you think Bobby Abreu, who was dropped by the Angels but has a 900+ OPS for the Dodgers in limited time, will turn back into a pumpkin. If Kemp stays out, Span can fill in for him. If Abreu grows old again, Span can play left field while leading off and Abreu comes off the bench. So stay tuned….

    Dodgers Top Prospects per BaseballProspectus.com
    Zach Lee – RHP – 4 stars
    Nathan Eovaldi – RHP – 3 stars
    Allen Webster – RHP – 3 stars

    Baltimore Orioles
    Like the Dodgers, the Orioles also have a center fielder having an MVP caliber year. But the Orioles also have big problems at their leadoff spot, with a combined OBP of just .253. Most of that can be blamed on Endy Chavez, though Robert Andino (.304 OBP) has done his share of damage, too.

    Again, the problem becomes finding a place for Span to play, though that doesn't appear to be a problem this year. A spot just opened up in right field where Nick Markakis was just put on the DL due to wrist surgery. There has also been a spot for a month in left field, where Nolan Reimold has been out with a bulging disk in his neck that has required multiple epidurals. Span could fit in with the Orioles long term there as Reimold is now 28 years old and has bounced between the majors and minors a bit in recent years.

    Orioles Top Prospects per BaseballProspectus.com
    Dylan Buncy – RHP – 5 stars
    Manny Machado – SS – 5 starts
    Jonathan Schoop – INF – 4 stars

    Cincinnati Reds
    The Reds lead the NL Cental with Drew Stubbs, a 27-year-old with a .300 OBP as their center fielder. He now has 1500 major league at-bats and a .249 career batting average. And believe it or not, he’s not the big problem.

    By the way, you’re warned – CAPS heavy sentence coming up.

    The big problem is the number .214. CUMATIVELY, that is the ON-BASE PERCENTAGE from the Reds LEAD-OFF hitters. It is as if every person they put atop the lineup becomes Drew Butera. Except that isn’t fair to Butera, whose career OBP is .231.

    I don’t know what to add to that. I’m a little stunned. How can they not get Joey Votto and Jay Bruce a little help? Let’s get to the prospects….

    Reds Top Prospects per BaseballProspectus.com
    Billy Hamilton – SS – 5 stars
    Devin Mesoraco – C – 5 stars
    Zach Cozart – SS – 3 stars (Huh. This is the guy who is leading off for the Reds, so let’s go one more...)
    Robert Stephenson – RHP – 3 stars
    This article was originally published in blog: Nationals Should Not Be Lone Suitor For Denard Span started by John Bonnes
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      I don't see a fit with these three teams. We definitely are not going to get Zach Lee, Dylan Bundy, Manny Machado, Billy Hamilton, or Mesoraco in a deal for Span - I'm not too excited about the other prospects that were named and as far as the Dodgers, Orioles, and Red's are concerned... I have a hard time envisioning them being desperate to make this kind of trade this season.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Span will not bring any of those prospects in return. You are looking at 2 upside type pitchers who are in A ball and in the 5-15 range on their team's prospect lists.

      I think the best fit for both Willingham and Span is the Indians. They are starting to look like contenders and have some brutal options in the OF/DH spots. Not a big deal to trade in the division if you are in a multi year rebuild like the Twins are.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Yeah, I don't see much mix with this teams. I'll stand by my thoughts that th Twins and Rangers are great trade partners for Span, Morneau and Willingham. There's no way they're getting a 5-star type of prospect for Span. Maybe I'm dreaming too in hoping they might be able to get a 4 star and maybe two 3 stars.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I actually think the Dodgers will be sniffing around Morneau. They are in need of a replacement for James Loney who will likely be non-tendered after the season seeing as he is 4th year arbitration eligible and is possibly the worst offensive 1B that continues to get the opening day starting gig.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Been saying this for a while: I think that my local team (the Phillies) is the best Twins' partner for such a trade because it has a lot of good young stuck pitching and a serious OF need. Might take a couple more pieces to make it work, but...

      and I am dead serious about the Phillies being it. And they will overspend for someone like Span (just ask the 'voice of reason' )
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Been saying this for a while: I think that my local team (the Phillies) is the best Twins' partner for such a trade because it has a lot of good young stuck pitching and a serious OF need. Might take a couple more pieces to make it work, but...

      and I am dead serious about the Phillies being it. And they will overspend for someone like Span (just ask the 'voice of reason' )
      Just for fun - throw out a trade scenario involving The Twins and Phillies involving Span - Curious minds want to know!
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      Considering the fact Span's signed through 2014 (plus a '15 option), I don't see any point in trading him for a mediocre return. They could always do that later. If no one wants to pay a high price, then he can just remain with the Twins. The organization won't be rebuilt with a few C+ prospects here and there.
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Maybe I'm dreaming too in hoping they might be able to get a 4 star and maybe two 3 stars.
      If this is only a dream - then you straight up do not trade Span... over and done.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Looking back at in season CF trades over last few years. Atlanta has made two trades trying to find a CF. Last year they traded for Michael Bourn (Gold Glove and All Star 2010) and in 2009 they traded for Nate McLouth (an All Star and Gold Glove winner in 2008).

      Ranked by WAR, Span finds himself ranked 13th of 18 qualifiers.

      Michael Bourn brought Jordan Schafer, Juan Abreu, Paul Clemens and Brett Oberholtzer. The Braves did not give up any of their better pitching prospects.

      Nate McLouth brought Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez and Jeff Locke. At the time of the trade, Hernandez had made an appearance in the Baseball America top 100 and #4 Atlanta prospect . Locke made some organizational top 10s.

      It is hard to imagine that Span will bring worth more than Bourn and McLouth at the time of their trade. It isn't even reasonable that he is on par with these players at the time of the trade. In that case, the better course is to keep Span.
    1. pjnelly's Avatar
      pjnelly -
      Here is optimism at its finest: on June 6th, 2006 the MN Twins had 25 wins and 32 losses--they were 11.5 games out of 1st place. Lets talk trades in July, not in early June.
    1. striker_86's Avatar
      striker_86 -
      I think the rangers would make a great trade partner....as much as I love span, now is the time to dump him and get something back<br>
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Jorgenswest, that was a great post but I will counter a couple things. While WAR is a great stat, it does not tell the whole story. Span is one of the best in the game at making pitchers work. He often does what a leadoff hitter should do and works the count early in the game. You also have to consider the contract, which is very team friendly. This of course plays a very big factor in his overall trade value. Those two things (mainly the contract status) make me believe the Twins should be able to get more than Bourn and McLouth. If not, then yeah, we gotta keep him.
    1. Highabove's Avatar
      Highabove -
      There is no reason to trade Span in till someone is willing to overpay.
      Whats the rush?
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      I just hope that this is not going to be a repeat of last year, where the Twins were contending enough that they made no big trades, then got flushed down the toilet after the trade deadline. If the Twins are less than 7 games out at the trade deadline, it seems likely that they might be buyers, not sellers, in order to keep the attendance figures higher and in the hope that they can make the playoffs. And if Mauer/Morneau/Span/Willingham could all have career seasons, and Ploufee and some others could play to their potential (and the starting pitchers could pitch like they have during the past 8 games), the Twins could be in first place in the division by the trade deadline.
    1. Land Of 10,000 Beasts's Avatar
      Land Of 10,000 Beasts -
      I like Span but we have plenty of young outfielders ready to get their feet wet so I wouldn't complain if we traded him to any of these teams. I don't really care who we trade him to, as long as it isn't within the division and not to the Yankees, not that they would want him.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      In retrospect, I wish I had left the top prospects off of each team, since they clearly distracted from the story. Listing them was not to suggest I think Span could be traded for them. It was simply a reference to get thoughts going.

      Thryloss, I almost listed Philly. I didn't because Juan Pierre hasn't turned into a pumpkin yet. It seemed premature.

      I'm puzzled by the Texas stuff. I wonder if it's driven more by what WE want than what THEY want. Ian Kinsler is their leadoff hitter. Hamilton is their center fielder. The other corner OFs are Cruz and Murphy. And their top priority is a right-handed hitting outfielder. I don't see Span as a great fit for them.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      John, I expect that Mr. Ryan views the Twins much different than most of us. He is looking at putting the Twins back into contention next year. I expect that he sees a team that is really pretty good throughout its everyday lineup, assuming they stay healthy. The bullpen fixes he did have worked very well and there are four/five arms in Rochester about major league ready. The problem, the starting rotation including the health of Pavano/Baker. I think he sees a team that needs to add two solid starters and they can be back.

      If he is thinking like that, he isn't going to be trading away any of his better players just to be doing something. Yes, he will listen to phone calls and if someone blows him away for Span or another player...he certainly will listen. But I suspect we are going to see a lot less moves between now and July 31 than most people expect.
    1. Blackjack's Avatar
      Blackjack -
      John, I expect that Mr. Ryan views the Twins much different than most of us. He is looking at putting the Twins back into contention next year. I expect that he sees a team that is really pretty good throughout its everyday lineup, assuming they stay healthy. The bullpen fixes he did have worked very well and there are four/five arms in Rochester about major league ready. The problem, the starting rotation including the health of Pavano/Baker. I think he sees a team that needs to add two solid starters and they can be back.
      I think you hit it on the head right there. Unless the Twins really tank between now and the trade deadline, Terry R. is not going to hold a fire sale.

      Personally I wouldn't trade Span unless they get a stud prospect in return.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      This is why I am glad Ryan is the GM. He won't get focused on one team / scenario and he has the balls to walk away from a deal if its not good.
    1. Loosey's Avatar
      Loosey -
      I agree with whoever mentioned that we shouldn't just trade Span to trade him. He is under contract for a few more years and is a pretty good leadoff hitter and center fielder. If you can't receive some top prospects for him in return then why bother making a trade. The reason for trading established players is to build for the future, and you aren't going to improve in the future if you trade away the better players you have now for fringe prospects unless you have a younger player in your system who is ready to take the place of the guy you are trading. And I don't believe the Twins have that guy in place yet, Revere isn't ready and doesn't have the arm for CF and Hicks is still toiling in AA. Stand pat on Span unless they are blown away.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.