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Nationals willing to listen to trade offers for Denard Span

Nov 9, 2013, 3:12 PM EDT

Denard Span Reuters Reuters

The Nationals acquired Denard Span from the Twins last offseason to serve as their leadoff man and regular center fielder, but they are already considering making a change.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Nationals are willing to listen to trade offers for Span. The possible motivation could be the team’s interest in free agent center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. And given the long history between the Nationals and Scott Boras’ clients, the match shouldn’t be ruled out.

Thanks to a strong second half, Span finished this season with a .279/.327/.380 batting line to go along with four home runs, 47 RBI, and 20 stolen bases over 153 games. The 29-year-old is owed $6.5 million next season while his contract includes a $9 million club option for 2015, so he should have plenty of appeal as a trade chip.

  1. David Proctor - Nov 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    As I said elsewhere, this really doesn’t mean anything. With the exception of Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and maybe a few others, they should be “listening to offers” on everyone. That doesn’t mean that they want to trade him, just that he’s not completely off-limits if the right deal came along.

    I just have a very, very hard time seeing the Nationals spending 100M+ on Ellsbury. We’ll see.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Nov 9, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      You’re probably right. The presence of Brian Goodwin, as complete a CF prospect as there is right now, in the Nats’ upper minors might have something to do with it. Probably more likely that than Ellsbury, right?

      • David Proctor - Nov 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        Well Goodwin isn’t ready yet. He needs one more year. That’s what made Span such a great fit last year. His contract goes through next year and then there’s an affordable club option for 2015, if Goodwin needs more time. It offers a lot of flexibility in that regard.

    • NatsLady - Nov 9, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Rizzo is doing Boras a favor running up Ellsbury’s price. Ain’t happening. Rizzo waited years to get Span, and Williams wants a defense-oriented team. Ellsbury is good but not great in CF. Rizzo will spend his $$ on pitching.

      • bigmeechy74 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:50 AM

        Defense is so overrated in baseball. I’d take a guy that can hit instead of a “good glove” guy every single time

  2. thebadguyswon - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    They traded Alex Meyer, who could be a solid #2 or #3 starter for this guy. Wow.

    • frightwig - Nov 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      “This guy” was worth 3.5 fWAR this past season for the Nats, about the same as he was worth in his last season with the Twins. Washington got just what they should have expected: a decent #1-2 hitter with some speed on the basepaths, who plays very good defense in CF. If he keeps it up for two more years, he’ll be a good value for them.

      Meanwhile, Scott Boras’ favorite media mouthpiece reports that a team is “willing to listen to offers” for its CF, while it supposedly considers signing one of Boras’ top clients on the free agent market, who plays the same position. Huh. I wonder what’s going on there….

      • thebadguyswon - Nov 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        Denard Span sucks. You can cite any sabr stat you want, but he’s a punchless leadoff man with tepid on base skills.

  3. stex52 - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I’m not even that impressed with his SABR stats. He looks like a nice, average ballplayer. With a big blip in 2012. But not that much in 2013.

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