Twins deal Span for youngsterWith the addition of Denard Span, the Washington Nationals aren’t just plugging a player into the lineup and moving on. He’s like that nice new piece of furniture that causes the homeowner to redecorate the entire room — just so everything is in the perfect spot.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With the addition of Denard Span, the Washington Nationals aren’t just plugging a player into the lineup and moving on. He’s like that nice new piece of furniture that causes the homeowner to redecorate the entire room — just so everything is in the perfect spot.
The Nationals acquired the center fielder from the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer on Thursday, setting off a chain reaction for the reigning NL East champions.
With Span in center, 20-year-old Bryce Harper moves to a corner spot — probably left field, with Jayson Werth staying in right. Michael Morse could then move to first base — the position played by free-agent slugger Adam LaRoche.
Also, with Span hitting leadoff, Werth drops a few spots in the batting order. And with either Morse or LaRoche seemingly on the way out, Harper could move down in the lineup as well.
All for a player who hit .284 with 90 steals and a .357 on-base percentage during five seasons with the Twins.
Span played in 128 games this year, hitting .284 with four homers and 41 RBIs. He missed time late in the season due to a strained right collarbone, allowing Ben Revere to showcase his speed in the outfield and on the basepaths.
“He took a step forward last year in our minds,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan said of Revere. “He played well.”
The Twins are coming off back-to-back last-place finishes in the AL Central and were in desperate need of starting pitchers.
Meyer should help, but not in the short-term. The 6-foot-9 flamethrower went 10-6 with a 2.86 ERA splitting time at the Class A level this year.
“He’s a starting pitcher, which we need” Ryan said. “He’s got the stuff, he’s got the frame, he throws it over the plate. ... He played in two different A-ball leagues last year. On the surface that means he’s not as close as you’d like, but we’ll let him dictate his pace and see exactly how he responds to it.”