MINNESOTA, MN - APRIL 2: Denard Span #2 of Minnesota Twins slides into third base on April 2, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)
The Nats got Wilson Ramos, the next big thing behind the plate in D.C. from Minnesota at the deadline last year to fill a void behind the plate in the nation's capital, so why not solve their center field and leadoff issues with one of the Twins' top outfielders too? 26-year-old center fielder Denard Span, who signed a 5-year/$16 million dollar last winter has reportedly been a name discussed between the two teams as they talk again heading toward Sunday's Non-Waiver Trade Deadline.
Washington Times' writer Amanda Comak wrote yesterday in an article entitled, "As speculation abounds, one name to keep in mind for the trade deadline", that Span, "... is high on the Nationals list of targets as they continue to look to upgrade their center field/leadoff spot on their roster, according to multiple sources." Span, the Astros' Michael Bourn, Rays' B.J. Upton and the Cardinals' Colby Rasmus have also been mentioned in most reports, but with Upton attracting more and more interest from teams including the Indians, Braves, Pirates, Reds, and Cards according to New York Post baseball writer Joel Sherman, it was the Twins' center fielder who was getting metioned in connection to Washington today.
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, who wrote about the Twins and Nats talking last week in an article entitled, "The Nats: Ready to deal?", mentioned then that Minnesota needed relief help which the Nats could potentially provide. The Nats, Mr. Rosenthal noted as well, also have a middle infield situation which might allow them to deal Ian Desmond.
In a follow-up article this morning entitled, "Nats, Twins have discussed Span", the bow-tied FOXSports.com reporter writes that the two teams have talked with Nationals' SS Ian Desmond's name mentioned, but with the Nats, "...unwilling to trade closer Drew Storen and reluctant to trade All-Star setup man Tyler Clippard," and the Twins looking for more than a Todd Coffey or Henry Rodriguez, it's unclear what Washington could give Minnesota to make a deal for Span happen.
As ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill pointed out this morning in an update on the Nats/Twins chatter, Minnesota has bullpen needs and a fill-in for Span in Ben Revere, who's played center for the Twins since Span went on the DL in June, who could replace the young outfielder on the roster, and the Twins, according to the ESPN reporter, believe they could play their way into contention in the AL Central if they, "... can fill holes on their current roster, including a late-inning relief arm."
Span has a .294/.361/.385 slash line in 54 games this season, with 24 walks, 26 K's and 4 stolen bases in 56 games, and a .289/.366/.385 career slash that would seem to make him an ideal fit for the Nationals' needs, especially since he's under contract through 2014 with a $9M dollar club option for 2015 which makes him a stable, affordable option ($1M/'11, $3M/'12, $4.75M/'13, $6.5M/'14, $9M/'15 club option w/ a $0.5M buyout) for the near future if the Nats are comfortable that his recovery from a concussion sustained in a collision at the plate is not an impediment to his return.
Less than a week til the deadline...