Minnesota Twins Trade Rumors: 5 Reasons Denard Span Should Not Be Traded
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has reported that the Twins and Nats have a discussed a deal that would send Span to the capital.
According to Rosenthal, the Twins would likely look to address two needs in this deal. They can add a promising shortstop in Ian Desmond and a late-inning reliever.
This trade rumor is the newest in a long line of negotiations that have involved the Twins, but this one may not be in the long-term interest of the team.
Let's take a look at five reasons the Twins should not trade Span.
5. Ben Revere Is Not Ready to Take Over in Center Field
Ben Revere has seemingly won over the entire Minnesota Twins community, but that is not reason enough to trade Denard Span.
Revere's personality has been compared to the beloved Kirby Puckett's, making him a warm character that is easy to cheer for.
Despite his charismatic nature, Revere has not been overly impressive on the field.
He is currently hitting .249, with a .287 on-base percentage, after a solid start to his major league campaign.
As the leadoff hitter, Revere has been far too inconsistent in his ability to get on base and score runs.
Revere is no more than a decent on-base hitter that provides no power whatsoever. The only reasonable scenario for trading Span and trusting Revere is to replace him in a year or two with elite prospect Aaron Hicks.
This is too risky of a scenario for a team that still has the core to contend for the next few years and counting, and the lack of a worthy center field replacement means Span should not be moved.
4. Denard Span's Contract Is Golden
As Ken Rosenthal pointed out in his report, Denard Span has a very "club-friendly" contract, and it fits the plans of the Minnesota Twins perfectly.
Span is earning $1 million this season, $3 million next season, $4.75 million in 2013, $6.75 million in 2014 and a $9 million club option in 2015.
The Twins have been built around the "M and M" boys in Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau for years now.
This tandem has not led them this season. In fact, both have spent significant time on the sidelines with injuries.
Still, these two have not had their final say as the dual faces of the franchise.
By 2015, when Minnesota has a club option on Span, they can decide on his fit with the club and whether the team wants to upgrade and find a franchise center fielder.
For the next few years, while Span's contract slowly grows, he will remain a staple in the lineup without taking on the superstar role.
This is exactly what the Twins need if they are going to trust Mauer and Morneau for the future.
3. They Won't Get What They Deserve in Return
The Minnesota Twins are expected to target Ian Desmond and a reliever in this potential deal, which is not enough for the services of Denard Span.
Desmond is extremely overrated.
In sports, statistics do not usually tell the entire story of a game or player. In baseball, they actually can. The entire game can be tracked statistically from where each ball landed or was caught to how far it went.
New technology can even tell us whether a hit was lucky based on odds and where it landed, or whether an out was unlucky based on how the ball was hit and the fielder caught it.
Desmond is an example of a player that gets hurt by his statistics.
He came on strong two years ago with a .280 batting average in 21 games.
After a solid 2010 campaign, he is struggling immensely with the lowest OPS in the National League, as Ken Rosenthal points out.
The reliever that the Twins would receive would not be the missing link. They need an elite talent and it is unlikely the Washington Nationals will part with their talented pitchers.
It's simple: The Twins simply won't get enough to validate a trade of Span.
2. They Cannot Afford Another Botched Deal
Last season, the Minnesota Twins traded for Matt Capps at the MLB trade deadline, but the deal has turned sour.
Capps has struggled to be a steady performer for the Twins, and has failed to meet expectations after the Twins gave up an elite prospect for his services.
Minnesota traded away catcher Wilson Ramos, who is proving his worth as a major league catcher as part of the Washington Nationals.
That makes Capps' struggles sting even more.
Historically, the Twins have made solid trades for prospects that have panned out like Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano. They have also struck gold on veterans in the past like Shannon Stewart.
However, trades in recent years have not worked including the Johan Santana trade along with the aforementioned Capps deal.
A Denard Span deal is too risky as a potential bust on another trade is not what the Twins need for their future.
1. Denard Span Is Simply Too Good
It seems that Denard Span has become a victim of the phrase "out of sight, out of mind."
Since his concussion symptoms sidelined him, people have been susceptible to minimizing what Span can do on a baseball field.
He has been a an above average center fielder that does a couple of things much better than most outfielders in the majors.
The Minnesota Twins have had a lot of success over the past couple years, and Span has been the leadoff hitter through that success.
He has great range in the field and has been one of the most consistent hitters on the team when it comes to getting on base night in and night out.
Span is far more valuable than the Twins seem to think.
His career batting average is .289. He has done everything in his power to prove his worth to Minnesota.
Hopefully, they realize that what they have in center field is better than most teams can boast, and an injury should not be the ultimate reason for the departure of Span.