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Rizzo and Span on the trade

Nov 30, 2012, 12:28 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Denard Span says he's "definitely ready" to join the Nationals.

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. Here are some highlights from both men…

MIKE RIZZO
Were you surprised this trade came about quickly, and how did it come about?
"I wouldn't say I'm surprised to get it done quickly. We've been in contact with Terry Ryan and the Minnesota Twins for approximately 3-4 weeks when we started discussing the deal. It started gaining momentum last week after the GM meetings and we started really making some progress the past couple of days."

What does this mean for Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse?
"Michael Morse is under contract for us. He's a guy that's a middle of the lineup, productive player for us. And Adam LaRoche was our first baseman last year. We're still discussing with him and in contract negotiations with him. So it gives us some options in dealing with our roster."

What made Span the guy you wanted?
"He fits very well for us. First of all, outstanding character, big-time makeup guy, teammates love him on the field, off the field,Read more ยป

  1. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Denard Span is everything Brian Goodwin is not.

  2. Candide - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    995c0828-8d78-11e1-b794-000bcdcb5194 said (in the previous post)… If they don't sign LaRoche, they basically got worse as a team with this trade. Period. Just replaces LaRoche in the lineup with Span…and you get rid of Alex Meyer. If ALR goes, I see it as they are replacing him with Morse at 1B, and someone showed earlier that Morse at 1B doesn't hurt you significantly on defense. Plus Morse is certainly ALR's equal at the plate, and he's younger. So you're replacing Morse in left with Span in center. Definitely a defensive upgrade. And Span's oWAR is actually better than Morse's. I'm loving the certitude with which everyone is proclaiming "LaRoche is GONE!" and "Morse is GONE!" Of course, the only guy whose opinion counts is Rizzo, and, as we've seen over and over again, not one of us has the slightest insight into what goes on inside that amazing head of his.

  3. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Looks like Kilgore was on the phone with Davey

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Sounds like a very good character.

  5. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Bryce seems like a beast to me. Why don't we want him to be a super star center fielder? Seems like unnecessary coddling. Plenty of famous center field hall of famers. I have not heard of any other teams (certainly not the angels) moving a highly talented guy out of fear that he will wear out someday. Bryce will be a Yankee by then anyway.

  6. 995c0828-8d78-11e1-b794-000bcdcb5194 - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Winter Meetings Checklist:1. Sign LaRoche2. Sign Haren or trade any/all of the following for another stud pitcher: Morse, Moore, Espinosa, Bernadina, any other prospect not named Rendon or even Rendon if you can get Price, Matt Moore, or King Felix. I would also be willing to trade Desmond for one of those 3. 3. Get a LH reliever.Span seems like a real class act. I think he will have career years here in DC and may even hit 15 HR's or so with 40 SB. I really see everything falling into place for this guy. Minnesota is a great baseball town, but it is cold, cold, cold. And they play in a huge park. I think his game is going to raise up a level here.

  7. JZimm's only fan... - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Natsjack can you explain what you mean?and swami I think the plan for bryce was always corner outfield so that's where they put him not a big deal

  8. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Seems like Bernie will go to waste now- what is his status? Tradable?

  9. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Swami, Bryce is going to get bigger and you don't want a big giant beast roming CF and crashing into walls and possibly injuring himself. Extends his career. AND BITE YOUR FRICKIN FINGERS OFF FOR TYPING THAT YANKEES COMMENT.

  10. pdowdy83 - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Swami take a look at the careers of Ken Griffey Jr and Mickey Mantle. Move them out of CF and put them in a corner spot and you may get another year or two out of them. I'm sure there are other examples of this but those 2 came to mind pretty quickly.The other thing to keep in mind about moving him out of CF is that Span is a REALLY good CFer and that moving Bryce to a corner makes the team better defensively as a whole. There were a few balls that were hit in the Cardinals series to LF that Werth and Harper would have gotten to far quicker than Morse did. Whether that changes anything in the series is debatable but if you can upgrade why wouldn't you?

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Swami, I don't think it is coddling. It is getting the best guy for each position. Span is better than Harper in CF. That's it.

  12. pdowdy83 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Swami, Bernie is a 4th outfielder. Span has had some injury issues, Werth has had some injury issues and Bernie plays all 3 spots. He is a perfect 4th outfielder and definitely won't go to waste. There is no reason to trade away a guy who has far more value to his own team than another team in the league.

  13. sm13 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    I just love that Rizzo leads his comment on Span with "He fits very well for us. First of all, outstanding character, big-time makeup guy, teammates love him on the field, off the field, community guy." This is what makes Rizzo such a great GM and the Nats such a great team. It is a pleasure to root for these guys and to know they are giving 100% every day. Natitude is pride! I'm a proud Nats fan!

  14. pdowdy83 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    JZimm, it has been reported a few times that Goodwin has a few makeup issues. There is a reason he ended up at Miami-Dade instead of staying at UNC. Check out the scouting report that I am linking. Elite athleticism but a few question marks.http://www.perfectgame.org/players/playerprofile.aspx?ID=121488

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Swami…. I love ya but ya gotta get a better grip on how this works.

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Just to set record straight, Span is not the fastest guy around so don't be expecting him to steal 40 bases.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    When it comes to Goodwin, it's not so much "character" as it is "maturity". Maybe this will make him "grow up".

  18. Candide - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Faraz Shaikh said…Just to set record straight, Span is not the fastest guy around so don't be expecting him to steal 40 bases.I don't think Davy's ever been a big fan of stolen bases anyway.

  19. pdowdy83 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Good point Faraz. Span is more of an Ian Desmond type base stealer. His speed translates more into 1st to 3rd, triples etc.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    No reason to put down Goodwin. He's not ready. The pitchers will enjoy the best outfield in the Majors as configured now and JZim will benefit the most given his FB%.

  21. Joe Seamhead - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    I agree that Harper was playing a very good CF and was getting better by the day, and was destined to be an All-Star there,if he kept playing the position. That said, I think Harper is destined to be an all-star whatever position he plays. He has stated that he prefers to play CF because he feels that he gets better reads off the bat in center. I feel that you don't take advantage of his arm and speed in LF especially. In Rizzo we trust.I am very happy we didn't sign Bourn or BJ.

  22. Gonat - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… No reason to put down Goodwin. He's not ready. The pitchers will enjoy the best outfield in the Majors as configured now and JZim will benefit the most given his FB%. November 29, 2012 8:27 PM ____________________________________Good point SteveM. Goodwin isn't close to ready. This is a much improved defense.

  23. NatsLady - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Davey is a rip. "I'll just check with my resident genius Werth, the young stud can play either position…Adam, bring your pen…"

  24. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Ok, ok – I get it. Sorry for jerking everyone's chain. Especially you , Michelle – cheap shot with the Yankee comment. In my actual life I am very flexible and adaptable. In my virtual baseball life I struggle with change, saying good bye to my idols, and adjusting to new guys. I will be fully hopping on board any minute now. But, I just LOVE watching Bryce throw people out from centerfield! How is this new guy's arm? I am sure that he will say something noble when he is introduced and I will warm up to him. So – who will put the jersey on him? Everyone is either at Detweiler's wedding or golfing in Davey's tournament. I guess the big press conference will have to wait until after the winter meetings anyway. That Rizzo just plays things so close to the vest, doesn't he? Not even a hint of a rumor. Can't wait to see what he does next – I hope it's soon so I have plenty of time to get used to the inevitable changes, which I will hate at first. Go you Denard Span guy, Go – there, that better? Bryce in left! Or right! Whatever!

  25. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    so basically Davey is saying that he does not want Morse next season, at least not as a starter?

  26. JamesFan - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Good to get Harper out of center. He was not a natural out there, and it is an easier place to get hurt.

  27. Joe Seamhead - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    I wonder how Harper feels about this news?Also, does anybody know the whole story about Span's collarbone injury which caused him to miss a fair amount of time during the last two months of the season?

  28. JZimm's only fan... - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Before we slam Goodwin for his character lets remember that Bryce Harper was public enemy number 1 for character concerns in the minors…I think he turned out okayGoodwin had academic issues that removed him from UNC, I think he has handled being rushed through really difficult minor league levels in short periods of time pretty well

  29. Constant Reader - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    I rarely hype the other website over here, but Kilgore's analysis just posted is a very insightful read. So much flexibility for Rizzo's next move.

  30. Joe Seamhead - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    From an AP report:Span played in 128 games this year, hitting .284 with four homers and 41 RBIs. He missed time late in the season due to a strained right collarbone, allowing Ben Revere to showcase his speed in the outfield and on the basepaths.

  31. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Garcia is now top 20 Nats prospect according to J Mayo. That basically tells you, he is having trouble finding a prospect when he names a 26+ year old guy a prospect.

  32. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Most telling quote from Rizzo: "And Adam LaRoche was our first baseman last year."He's gone. So is Morse, if Rizz gets what he wants.Werth-Span-Harper is a tremendous defensive outfield. I love this trade. We get a contact hitter, speed guy, non-strikeout guy to balance the inevitable 100 Ks a year we're going to get from Zimm, Desi, Espi (175, plus), Morse (if he makes it until spring, which I doubt.)I still think Tyler Moore is Opening Day first baseman.Sorry, Michele.

  33. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Sunshine, the only thing that holds me back on Tyler is that he may not have the experience at 1b for a contentor.

  34. Drew - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    I don't see any reason to take a swipe at Goodwin.Span is an exciting player and appears to be a good guy, but don't sell Goodwin short. He looks like he will have surprising extra-base power.

  35. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    I tend to feel that Tyler Moore offers strong offense for more years and has a very high defensive ceiling. Love the Beast, too, though.So great to have so many good options. The chess games continue.

  36. Donald - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    I'd be really surprised if Moore is the starting 1B next year. Rizzo seems intent on upgrading positions at every chance. Moore is not strong defensively and strikes out too much. He could become a great 1B in a few years, but he's not ready next year and Rizzo knows it. It's either Morse or LaRoche. My guess is that Davey wants LaRoche (more of a Keith Hernandez type guy). But we'd be fine with either.

  37. Bzl. - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    One thing that is certain is that LF has been upgraded substantially, on defense. This was a constant weak spot last year, no matter who played there. Bryce's arm in LF? Fugheddaboudit.I hope they sign LaRoche. Give him a 3rd year, if necessary. Our defense is going to be best in MLB, if they do.

  38. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Michele, I agree Moore's defense is an unknown at 1B. What is known is it won't approach ALR. But if he's the 30-100 offensive guy we think he is, I'll be able to live with it.He's going to be surrounded by defense anyway. Maybe some of it will rub off. Hope so.

  39. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Adam coming back is definitely the best case scenario – except for the effect it has on Morse. Why can't we just have it all?

  40. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Sunshine my concern is we have an infield that gets the Yips when they throw to 1b, and not just Ryan, Ian can have an issue on occasion.Swami, this is what STINKS about all these moves. I loved Tommy Milone, but we got Gio and i got over it. I love Adam, it might take longer to get over that. I love Beast and I will figure out away to get over that.

  41. D'Gourds - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    My immediate reaction is that I don't like the trade. But I also didn't like the Gio trade and that worked out well for both teams. I have great respect for Rizzo. He obviously knows more than we do–perhaps it doesn't seem likely to sign ALR. But I really like Morse. He's a special player and person. He adds so much to the team. I would really hate to see him go. To me, I'd rather see using our minor league prospects to get a top of the rotation starter. That would make us unstoppable.

  42. sm13 - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Is it time for this to be Morse's swan song…Take on me, take me on I'll be gone In a day or two?

  43. Tim - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    I am not sure that ALR > Morse at 1B. Assuming no injuries, I think Morse the better offensive player by a fair margin. Morse was thrown into playing 1B 2 years ago with minimal preparation and he did a nice job. With more time to prepare and he should improve and is I think above avg defender there. Also, a player in a walk year before FA, to me they always seem to play above their heads and then let down after signing a big deal. We a know MM is capable of hitting .300 w/ 30+HR and 100RBI, and he could be due for an even bigger year if he stays healthy and finds a consistent position in the field – might be 35+HR and 120+RBI. I think trading him in a walk year when he has everything to prove is a big risk, unless we get someone really good in return.

  44. Doc - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    NatsJack I trust your opinion on matters Goodwin.Rizzo thinks that he is "years" away. I was thinking about 2 years or less!Seems like a good kid from interviews that I've had an opportunity to hear. He's LH too.

  45. NatsLady - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    If the Red Sox signed ALR they would not have to give up their first round draft pick, I believe. They would have to give up their second round pick; because they finished in the bottom ten their first pick is protected. Texas, OTOH, would have to give up their first pick.

  46. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    NatsLady.. See Olney's tweets about the Sox and giving up the 2nd round pick.

  47. sjm308 - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    Swami – reading your first few posts, I was ready to jump down here and go at it with you. I appreciate your honesty and change is certainly difficult but take a step back and look at what this does for Harper, Werth and our entire team. Goodwin can take over next year as the #4 outfielder if he continues to make progress. He does not need to be rushed. The young pitchers in our system just got more motivated to return from surgery as they now can move up quicker.Davey still wants LaRoche and told him to bring a pen to his golf tournament so that is not a done deal yet and no matter who plays first, we have not lost a thing offensively.Personally, I like LaRoche if its a 2 year deal and even if its 3 I guess I am ok. With LaRoche, our defense at all 9 positions would challenge any team in baseball. Our pitching will also improve because of this and the hitting is solid. What is not to like???One question. Would you guys prefer Bryce in right or left? Swami talked about throwing guys out and to me, Bryce has the cannon to make throws in right field that would do just that. Is it more important for Jason to stay put or would you move Bryce in right now? Just wondering.

  48. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Rosenthal's Latest Column on the Nats, Span, and the pursuit of Greinke.

  49. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    @sjm: I'd prefer the Kid in right and Jayson in left. But as Davey sez, it's whatever Jayson wants. Translation: it's whatever the Kid wants.I love the Span trade for so many reasons — speed, defense, character, makeup, etc. — but here's what I REALLY like about it.It means we're not saddled with an Upton or Bourn for the next five years. Whew!

  50. SonnyG10 - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said…I love the Span trade for so many reasons — speed, defense, character, makeup, etc. — but here's what I REALLY like about it.It means we're not saddled with an Upton or Bourn for the next five years. Whew!November 29, 2012 10:51 PMAmen to that, Sunshine!

  51. Doc - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    ALR has been playing 1B for what, 10-13 years or more?? Mickey Morse has played for 1 year, if that.Except for 1 bad game in '11, he was errorless at the bag. Previous to that game he actully had had an errorless career in the bigs, or close to it. ALR has no peer at fielding 1B, but Morse is not far behind, and probably has more range than ALR, and also has the hands of the SS with which he came to the Bigs.Yeah, I'm still a MM fan, but in reality I don't see a problem with him taking over at 1B–neither does Rizzo apparently.

  52. Doc - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    Thanks for the link on Rosenthal MicheleS!Only Dodger money stands between us and Greinke.

  53. A DC Wonk - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    Candide said… Faraz Shaikh said…Just to set record straight, Span is not the fastest guy around so don't be expecting him to steal 40 bases. I don't think Davy's ever been a big fan of stolen bases anyway.Not true, actually.One of the great things about Davey (and I've been saying this since 2011) is that he builds his strategy, in part, by the players he has. He's flexible.In his first full (albeit strike shortened) season with the Reds, in 1994 (when they finished 1st), the Reds were third in the NL in stolen bases.In 1995 (when the Reds also finished 1st), the Red were 1st in the NL in stolen bases.

  54. A DC Wonk - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    One question. Would you guys prefer Bryce in right or left? Swami talked about throwing guys out and to me, Bryce has the cannon to make throws in right field that would do just that. Is it more important for Jason to stay put or would you move Bryce in right now? Just wondering. Glad you brought that up — I was thinking that, too, but I see so few others mentioning it: Bryce's arm is so good, he perhaps ought to be in RF, and Jason in LF. (I'd like folks smarter than I to weigh in on that).

  55. Drew - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    The home opener could be See-Span Day. Brian Lamb could throw out the first pitch.

  56. NatsJim - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:56 AM

    Put Bryce and his canon in RF now and leave him alone for the next decade. Werth should naturally move to LF as he ages, so I say get them settled in now for the long haul.

  57. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 30, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    Depends on where Harper's Honeys decide they want to sit. If they migrate to left, he's in left. If they want him in right, he's in right.We can't go wrong. We're loaded, and Rizzo is still backing the Brinks truck up to the bank's back door (Greinke!).

  58. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    It has been said that Davey is not a big fan of stealing. Does he let Span steal and turn Bryce loose more, or will that skill go to waste?

  59. Teddy Rochlis - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    i see span as someone who maybe won't steal a lot of bases (20-35 next year) but someone with amazing upsides in terms of defense BA and runs scored along with other categories.Great guy and what we needed short term going forward.

  60. NatsNut - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I really like how candid Span is with some of his quotes over at the Post. It's clear that he's sad to be leaving the only organization he's been with for 10 years, he's nervous about meeting his new team and remembering names and flattered by Rizzo's desire to acquire him. It all makes sense of course, but you don't often hear players actually saying these things. Swami, I'm like you when it comes to change and there are usually a few days when my arms are crossed and I'm harumphing, but this is already endearing him to me. GYFNG!

  61. Tcostant - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    NatsLady said… If the Red Sox signed ALR they would not have to give up their first round draft pick, I believe. They would have to give up their second round pick; because they finished in the bottom ten their first pick is protected. Texas, OTOH, would have to give up their first pick.Just to be clear, this has no effect on what the Nationals get if ALR leaves. While you are correct about the picks thos teams will loss; the Nationals only get a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd round regradless of who signs him. The signing teams pick just goes away and is basicly skipped.

  62. natsfan1a - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Already said that I liked the deal but didn't welcome Denard so here you go: Welcome – will look forward to watching you next year and beyond!

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