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Span was the perfect addition to the Nats lineup.
Notable Additions: CF Denard Span, RHP Dan Haren
Notable Subtractions: LHP Sean Burnett, RHP Edwin Jackson
Coming off of the most successful season in franchise history, one that saw the Nationals win their first division title and advance to the playoffs, Washington entered the offseason with one major hole to fill: an everyday center fielder.
In Denard Span, the Nationals got a keeper.
Span, 28, is one of the more underrated outfielders—and leadoff hitters—in the game.
Capable of hitting .300 and an on-base machine, as evidenced by his .357 career on-base percentage, Span is a virtual lock to score 100 runs sitting atop the Nationals' potent lineup in 2013, thanks to his combination of base-running smarts and excellent speed.
Defensively, Span is a stud, even by advanced metrics. Via FanGraphs, Span posted a 9.6 UZR/150 and 20 DRS—numbers that are second only to free agent Michael Bourn, and Span costs a fraction of what Bourn will eventually sign for.
Meanwhile, Dan Haren, 32, had a very un-Haren-like season for the Angels in 2012, going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. But those numbers aren't nearly as bad as some would lead you to believe. It was only two years ago that he was receiving votes in the American League Cy Young Award race.
Asked to be the fourth starter in an absolutely stacked Nationals rotation, even posting numbers similar to what he put forth in 2012 would adequately replace Edwin Jackson's production.
Losing Sean Burnett might sting a bit, as the 30-year-old left-hander was excellent out of Washington's bullpen in 2012, pitching to a 2.38 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 70 appearances. All things considered, though, GM Mike Rizzo has improved his team heading into 2013—and that's bad news for the rest of the National League.