Nats Interested in Denard Span…again

June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Denard Span, BJ Upton, Peter Bourjos and the Washington Nationals. It's a saga that has seemingly been going on forever since the downfall of Nyjer Morgan and the Nats' continued pursuit of an every day center fielder. Bryce Harper has certainly filled in admirably but the Nats still feel like they need an upgrade in the middle of their outfield and at the top of their batting order. According to ESPN 1500 Twin Cities the Nationals have been back at Twins games, presumably scouting Denard Span and some other Twins players. But what does this potential move mean for the current Nats roster?

Basically, the Nationals have one current spot left in their outfield.  Could this potential move possibly mean that Jayson Werth's wrist injury is worst off than anticipated? Originally it was thought that Werth could come back late July or early August. Certainly if Werth was to come back that there would be no logical spot for Denard Span. Or could the potential of bringing in Span go even deeper into the Nats thinking? Michael Morse hasn't begun to even resemble the "Beast Mode" version of last year batting .250 with one home run and nine RBI. Could the Nats look to cut the cord on the veteran, move Harper to left and bring in a legit center fielder? The Nats could then pick up Adam LaRoche's option for 2013 and basically be set for next year. Morse's value could be relatively high right now and perhaps he could bring in a solid relief pitcher, along with a prospect?

Beyond the hypothetical situation surrounding Morse, the Nationals biggest trade piece remains John Lannan. Lannan has been pitching better at AAA Syracuse but his $5 million price tag still is scaring away some teams and definitely would not be music to the Twins ears. Certainly Mike Rizzo could figure a deal out, but would one solution be taking on the contract of struggling Japanese import Tsuyoshi Nishioka? The Nats are looking for an infield upgrade over Mark DeRosa, perhaps their is a chance Nishioka could add a spark off the Nats bench?

Whatever the path, Davey Johnson would enjoy putting Span in his lineup. The 28 year old, DC born veteran continues to produce batting .276 this year with three home runs, seven stolen bases, and nineteen RBI. Can the Nationals finally get their center fielder?

7 responses to Nats Interested in Denard Span…again

  1. I love them going after Span. He won't cost an arm and a leg like some other CF's, he's great defensively, and get's on base at a high rate. He's also pretty cheap, compared to trying to pay Upton or Bourn next offseason. I'm thinking they keep Morse the rest of the way (though when Werth comes back, he'll sit more), and then try to deal Morse in the offseason.

  2. I agree on the likelihood of the Morse situation you laid out, but do you take a gamble and try to trade him now while his perceived stock may be a little higher?

    The other question I have is do you really lose anything in Morse when you have Tyler Moore and Chris Marrero in the fray?

    • well i'd def. put out feelers now, but if you think Werth might not be 100% until mid-August (which I'm guessing could be true) I wouldn't rush him back and use Morse there, trying to up his value for the offseason. A lot I think depends on Werth, will he be 100% and can he play 6 days a week, are the real questions.

  3. Span is an decent OF. I watched him a lot in a AAA and he has potential.

  4. I wouldn't mind them pursuing Spann. They do need a true centerfielder. I don't think that Harper is the answer there. He looks like he still needs a lot of grooming as an outfielder. He can cover a lot of ground but his routes to the ball often can be an adventure, and his throws often are not accurate or not to the right base. I was surprised when they were saying that Werth could be back by late July. With that kind of injury, you would think that a longer recovery time would be needed. Plus it would seem that it will take a while for him to get back(?) in a groove. If the Nats are in a pennant race heading into August, the last thing this struggling offense needs is a lack of production from a middle of the order hitter on the mend. Getting Spann would relieve some of the pressure to rush Werth back into the lineup.

    As for Morse, I'm willing to give him a few more weeks to heat up and hit with power. It took him a while to get going last year, and considering the long layoff thus far this season, he should still be given a pass for a while. But I do fear that he could turn out to be a one-year wonder. He is a liability defensively in the outfield, and that will never change. I would not be opposed to unloading him soon if they could get a decent return. He could be an option for a team in need of a first baseman – I think he did surprisingly well there last year. I think that if the Nats then had the courage to go with Tyler Moore & Steve Lombardozzi in the everyday outfield lineup they wouldn't lose too much offensively and could be a little better off defensively, in spite of the fact that both would be playing out of position. Moore looks to be the real deal at the plate and I could see him ending up with 15+ homers if he played everyday. If eventually the Nats do acquire Spann and/or if Werth comes back and produces, then the Nats will be in good shape with their outfield situation.

    • I agree with guys like Moore and Marrero they have 1B covered and Moore and Lombo cover the OF.