RandBall: Three things up and down about the Span trade
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- November 29, 2012 - 5:22 PM
So: Denard Span was traded for Class A pitcher Alex Meyer. Aside from giving us something to tweet about for 45 minutes this afternoon while we snuck in a quick workout -- seriously, the time flies by when you have a distraction, so nicely done Twins -- it gave us something to think about. There are pluses and minuses in any deal like this. Here are three up and three down as we see it:
1) This gives the Twins additional payroll flexibility to make other pitching moves. They Twins were at about $76 million with span; they'll be closer to $70 million without him. As long as they aren't done dealing/signing, that could be a very good thing.
2) This was a decisive move. Span has been the subject of trade rumors for quite a while, but right now -- coming off a solid season, at the time of year when teams are trying to fill holes -- his value is high. He's not the kind of player a team is going to overpay for at the trade deadline. He's a building block, and it's better to make those deals in the offseason.
3) Meyer is a good prospect. While he's young and likely wouldn't rise above Class AA in 2013 if we had to guess, he throws hard and has plenty of upside. He could be a top-end rotation pitcher, and those are not easy to find.
1) One of the Twins' best trade assets is gone before the Winter Meetings start, meaning any potentially better deals for Span are out the window.
2) The Twins only got one player in return. Even another marginal prospect thrown in would have improved the odds of this deal working. If Meyer doesn't pan out, this trade will look plenty bad in retrospect.
3) Span was a good guy and a key player for some successful teams here. It stinks to lose a good player -- especially when it could signal a rebuild (even a necessary one) could be underway. Span had the highest WAR on the Twins in 2012 (largely because Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham, while better offensively, were subpar defensively). Sure, his best year came in 2009 and he is an injury risk, but Span was still a solid all-around player and above-average leadoff hitter. He will be missed.
Your thoughts, please, in the comments (though knowing you guys 70 percent of anything will be cheap shots about working out).
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