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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Acquire Denard Span From Twins - What "They're" Saying

The Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins made a deal that brought Denard Span to D.C. in exchange for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer. The baseball world reacts...

Hannah Foslien

Having acquired Denard Span in a trade with the Minnesota Twins last night, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo said the move helped the Washington Nationals accomplish one of their big goals for the winter, but they're not necessarily done. "We had a lot of options," the Nats' general manager explained, "We could have stayed with [Bryce Harper] in center field. He's a terrific young center fielder. But we felt for his long-term development and his career path that we wanted to move him out of the taxing position of center field, both mentally taxing and physically taxing. We've accomplished that. We also have a lot of other things on our agenda to improve our ballclub because as we've seen the other teams in our league, they're not standing pat. Everyone's trying to get better and we're trying to put the right moves in to compete with them and to stay a competitive ballclub."'s Ken Rosenthal said the next move should be to sign Zack Greinke... Did you know the Nationals pursued the right-hander once before? Lot of folks had opinions about what Washington did last night in trading 2011 1st Round pick Alex Meyer to the Twins to get Span. Here's what they were saying overnight and this morning about the trade the Nats made... Links and lots of them... Starting RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "It’s not just about getting an 28-year-old who’s only a notch below expensive free agent center fielders Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan in total value, according to most advanced metrics." - "For Nationals, Denard Span trade is more than a bargain, it’s about options" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post


• "I admire all sorts of people. But I reserve a special sort of admiration for baseball executives who don't sleep. You know, like rust. Or Mike Rizzo." - "Mike Rizzo has Nationals well-positioned for the next few years" - Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation

• "'I think it was a great trade,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'I think this is a hell of a move, because it gives us some protection if Adam [LaRoche] leaves.'" - "Davey Johnson loves the Denard Span trade" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "I will guarantee you that [Zack] Greinke is aware of every move and possibility. He is a student of the game, not to mention an independent thinker. Think he wouldn’t want to join a rotation that already includes [Jordan] Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez?" - "Washington Nationals now an attractive destination for free agents like Zack Greinke" - Ken Rosenthal,

• "The Nationals have been searching for a leadoff hitter and center fielder since ... well, since before they were the Nationals." - "Dissecting the deal for Denard" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "We like the fact that Denard is guaranteed for two seasons with a club option for a third. It's a good position to have for any good player..." - Mike Rizzo - "Nationals GM Mike Rizzo talks about the Denard Span trade" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "So where does that leave the center field market as we make our way deeper into the offseason?" - "Nationals Pastime: Looking at the remaining center field options" - Dan Kolko,

• "It’s unlikely that [Denard] Span posts the 120 wRC+ from his first couple of years in the big leagues, but he’s fast enough and hits enough ground balls that that an above average BABIP should probably be expected." - "Nationals Steal Denard Span From Twins" - Dave Cameron, FanGraphs Baseball

• "The Nationals had tried since 2010 to trade for Span, and now they have their man, a career .284 hitter with a .357 on-base percentage." - "Nationals acquire Denard Span for Alex Meyer" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The acquisition of [Denard] Span means Bryce Harper will move from center field to left field and Jayson Werth will remain in right." - "Nationals acquire Denard Span from Twins for Minor Leaguer Alex Meyer" - Bill Ladson, News

Twitter: @Ken_Rosenthal - "Davey Johnson still wants [Adam] LaRoche for #Nationals, says he was texting him all day, telling him to bring a pen to Davey's golf tournament this weekend and 'sign your contract.' If LaRoche leaves, Johnson plans for Harper to bat fourth. Span-Werth-Zimmerman-Harper."

Twitter: @JonHeymanCBS - "Span makes more sense for wash. than Bourn. much cheaper & cf prospect Brian Goodwin will be ready in 2 yrs. good job, nats"

• "Long before the Washington Nationals traded for outfielder Denard Span, a piece of his history came from D.C." - "Born unexpectedly in D.C., Denard Span makes his way back to the city he never truly got a chance to know" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "In [Denard] Span, the Nats will get a solid leadoff guy and strong defender in what could be his prime years (or close to them) at a very affordable rate, especially given the deals center fielders are getting these days." - "Nationals Pastime: Another look at the Span trade and the many options ahead" - Dan Kolko,

• "On Thursday evening, the Nationals acquired the type of center fielder they have been seeking for years..." - "Denard Span on coming to Washington, how he was born here" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and new center fielder Denard Span each held a conference call with reporters this evening to discuss today's trade with the Twins." - "Rizzo and Span on the trade" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'I felt good (last year),' [Denard] Span said. 'It started off - I don't want to say slow for me, but once I was able to get out there I felt normal and I was pretty much able to play a lot of games last year.'" - "Span excited and emotional about move to the Nationals (updated)" - Byron Kerr,

• "News of the [Denard] Span trade was similarly unwelcome for [Adam] LaRoche." - "Impact of moves on Phils, Bourn, LaRoche, Hamilton" - Jon Morosi,

• "It’s no secret taller pitchers have a more difficult time repeating mechanics and [Alex] Meyer is no exception." - "Nationals Try To Tame Alex Meyer" - Mike Newman,

• "Newest National Denard Span on being traded: ‘I feel like a kid again’" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog - Washington Post

• "The mutual interest in keeping [Adam] LaRoche right where both sides saw him fitting so comfortably was obvious. But the negotiations to bring him back have been slow." - "MLB Winter Meetings: Nationals preview" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "One baseball source said the Nationals would love to have Lannan back, 'but not for $5 million.'" - "John Lannan, Jesus Flores among non-tender candidates for Nationals" - Bill Ladson, News

• "With [Denard] Span now in center field, Bryce Harper will move into a corner outfield spot. Rizzo declined to comment on whether the Nats were leaning toward having Harper play left field or putting him in right..." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo discusses the Denard Span trade" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Mike] Rizzo confirmed that Washington was in the trade market for [Denard] Span two summers ago, but the two teams couldn't agree on the players headed back to Minnesota." - "Nationals acquire Denard Span in trade with Twins" - Brian McNally,

• "Span, 28, is a classic leadoff-hitting center fielder who owns a .284 batting average and .357 on-base percentage in five seasons with Minnesota." - "Updated: Nats acquire Span for Meyer" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'I think he’s going to bring a dimension to the club that we haven’t had before,' said general manager Mike Rizzo, who scouted Span in high school and has long been interested in him." - "Nationals acquire Denard Span from Twins for prospect Alex Meyer" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "One more reason Span’s contract is so attractive: The Nationals still have flexibility to bring up top outfield prospect Brian Goodwin when he is ready." - "Ripple effects from the Alex Meyer-Denard Span trade" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[F.P.] Santangelo, who is Carpenter's fifth TV partner, is best known for the catch phrase, 'Are you kidding me?' whenever he sees a great play on the field." - "Bob Carpenter, F.P. Santangelo returning as Nationals' TV duo" - Bill Ladson, News

• "[Mike] Rizzo said that [Denard] Span 'fits very well for us,' pointing to the center fielder's defensive ability, speed and on-base percentage as his strong points." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats acquire Denard Span from Twins for Alex Meyer (updated with Rizzo quick hits)" - Dan Kolko,

• "Turns out the Nationals do have the ability to send the left-hander back to Class AAA in 2013 because he still has one remaining minor-league option." - "Lannan has another option" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "And just as they did last spring, the Nationals know what they have in Lannan: a proven major league starter..." - "Examining the Nationals' impending non-tender decisions" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals are expected to non-tender both starter John Lannan and catcher Jesus Flores, both of whom made their major league debuts for the Nationals in 2009." - "Nationals non-tender decisions looming with deadline near" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "On a simple level we find that if we have a compassionate heart we naturally have more friends."


• "The Nationals have been interested in the former Boston Red Sox complex in Fort Myers, City of Palms Park on the west coast of Florida and closer to other major league teams in the Grapefruit League, but Lee County’s strapped finances could affect the team’s interest." - "Arizona for the Nationals’ future spring training site? Far less likely" - James Wagner, Washington Post

Winter League Updates: 11/27 - "Nationals catcher Jhonatan Solano went deep twice, hitting a solo shot in the sixth inning and a two-run jack in the ninth to pad Licey's lead." - "Nats' Solano drills two homers in Licey's win" - News

Winter League Updates: 11/28 - "Nationals farmhand Carlos Rivero went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers and six RBIs as the Leones climbed into a second-place tie with the Navegantes." - "Leones' Rivero homers twice, drives in six" - News

• "Nationals Trade Alex Meyer For Denard Span" - Luke Erickson,

• "[Anthony] Rendon exploded onto the national scene in 2009 at Rice by leading Conference USA in batting average, slugging percentage, and home runs on his way to being named the National Freshman of the Year." - "Getting to Know…Anthony Rendon" - Inside The Senators


• "The Nationals’ search for a leadoff hitter is seemingly over, now that the team has traded for speedy center fielder Denard Span. But with a surplus of outfielders, what future moves does this trade portend?" - "Nationals trade for CF Denard Span; Where will the dominoes fall?" - Marty Niland, D.C. Baseball History

• "And so, Mike Rizzo finally got that leadoff hitter/center fielder he's been pining for all this time." - "Video of that time Denard Span hit his mom with a foul ball" - Nats Enquirer

• "The Washington Nationals Thursday acquired the 'dynamic' center fielder GM Mike Rizzo has coveted really since he was appointed GM of the team." - "Washington Nationals trade for Denard Span" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Denard Span vs. B.J. Upton" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• "The Washington Nationals have announced that they have acquired outfielder Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins in return for minor league starting pitching prospect Alex Meyer." - "Nationals Trade For CF Denard Span" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Nats Get a CF and a Leadoff Hitter" - The Nationals Review

• "D-Span: Nats get Denard Span from Twins for prospect Alex Meyer" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "Nats Acquire Denard Span To Be New Center Fielder/Leadoff Man" - Jamie Mottram, Mr. Irrelevant

• "A Look at the Washington Nationals offseason and why they shouldn't stand pat." - "Washington Nationals Offseason Series: Why Standing Pat Doesn't Work" - Steve Shoup, Fanspeak Washington Nats Blog


Mets: "Per Ed Coleman on WFAN, David Wright has accepted the Mets contract offer, believed to be in the $140 million range." - "David Wright Re-Signs With The Mets" - Sam Page, Amazin' Avenue

Braves: "The Braves are more likely to trade for one of the other outfielders they’ve targeted. Minnesota’s Denard Span was at or near the top of their board, but was traded to Washington on Thursday." - "Newest Brave Upton excited about fresh start" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Marlins: "'I came out of nowhere when I was 30 years old and it seems like people are already forgetting what I did last year.,' [Justin] Ruggiano said in a phone interview." - "Ruggiano: I can protect Stanton, play CF" - Clark Spencer, Miami Herald

Phillies: "Regardless of what source you use for WAR, Michael Bourn, the former Phillies fourth-round draft pick and Braves center fielder, was considered to be a far better player than B.J. Upton in 2012." - "If you go to WAR, Bourn is the best available CF" - Bob Brookover,