FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s the Twins’ Hammond Stadium opener this afternoon, and with it comes a chance to reminisce about a couple of long-ago trades.
The Rays’ lineup includes two of the most touted Twins prospects of a decade ago, both of whom were traded to Washington for players that are long gone. Denard Span, the former No. 1 pick who was traded to the Nationals back in 2012 after five seasons with the Twins, will be in left field for Tampa Bay. And Wilson Ramos, who was believed to be the Twins’ longterm catcher as he rose through the system, until he was dealt in the middle of the 2010 season, will be behind the plate.
To refresh your memory, if not your annoyance, the Twins received a pair of pitchers from Washington for young major leaguers. Ramos brought back Matt Capps, who saved 45 games in 57 chances over three seasons for the Twins. The prize for Span was Alex Meyer, a hard-throwing righthanded pitching prospect who could never control the strike zone enough to hold a spot in Minnesota’s rotation.
Ramos had a couple of strong seasons in Washington before tearing the ACL in his right knee near the end of the 2016 season, and signing with the Rays. Span was great for a few years in D.C., played in San Francisco the past two seasons, and was included in the Evan Longoria trade between the Giants and Rays last December.
The way-back-when part of this blog now concluded, it’s on to today’s game against Jake Odorizzi’s old team (that’s a trade the Twins hope works out better for them). Here are the lineups for today’s game, which will be simulcast on Fox Sports North: