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Span might have been best option at CF

Nov 30, 2012, 7:33 PM EDT

Photo by US-Presswire

After searching for a long-term solution in center field for several years, the Nationals entered this offseason with a bevy of options at the position. The free agent class was deep with B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, and Angel Pagan. Throw Josh Hamilton in there, the year’s top overall free agent, and few offseasons offer as many choices.
But instead of taking the free agent route, the Nationals pulled the trigger on a trade target long rumored to be on their wish list. In comes 28 year old Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for top pitching prospect Alex Meyer. The Nationals decided to go with a cheaper, more short-term choice in Span, but still got the leadoff hitter and defensive stud they were coveting.
Acquiring Span shows that general manager Mike Rizzo opted for flexibility over flash. But looking at Span in comparison to this year’s other options, the difference really isn’t that dramatic. 
Take a look at how Span stacked up against the free agents in 2012:
B.J. Upton (28 years old)
146 G – .246/.298/.454 – 79 R – 28 HR – 78 RBI – 31 SB
Michael Bourn (29 years old)
155 G – .274/.348/.391 – 96 R – 9 HR – 57 RBI – 42 SB
Denard Span (28 years old)
128 G – .283/.342/.395 – 71 R – 4 HR – 41 RBI – 17 SB
Angel Pagan (31 years old)
154 G – .288/.338/.440 – 95 R – 8 HR – 56 RBI – 29 SB
Despite being tied to the Nationals in rumors, Upton was a poor fit from the beginning. He bats right handed, doesn’t slot well at the leadoff position, and would require the biggest contract of the group. He does have the best power numbers of the four, but when healthy the Nats’ lineup has plenty of big bats. They needed someone who could set the table and slot their core hitters later in the lineup.

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  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Chase Hughes bringing it again! If Rizzo's 1st concern was leadoff, then it was down to Bourn, Pagan, and Span.If you are looking at short-term, it was Span or Pagan.If you are looking at the most upside potential, I would say Span.

  2. waddu eye no - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    can we skip january?

  3. waddu eye no - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    or ,,, may we?

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    For those thinking the Nats should go for Greinke, this from Boz:"There’s only an infinitesimal chance it’ll be Zack Greinke. The Nats barely consider it, assuming insane L.A. money will keep him an Angel or Dodger."By the way, "infinitesimal chance" means near zero chance.

  5. blovy8 - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    The Rangers may play too, they're saving a bunch on Hamilton and their rotation is not what it needs to be anymore. I suspect they would outbid the Angels. The Dodgers, of course, can spend another billion on him if they have to after that TV deal.

  6. natsfan1a - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Nice piece. I thought Mark wrote it at first (and I mean that in a good way :-)).Speaking of Boz, finally got around to reading the transcript of his Monday chat. Loved this line from him:That hideous enormous "sculpture" in CF that lights up on home runs should have an enormous neon sign above it that flashes "Tilt!" and "Suckers!!!"

  7. JD - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Continuing the discussion from the previous thread; Michael Morse had a UZR rating of -5.1 at 1st base in 2011 which is somewhat worse than Ryan Howard which is somewhere near horrible. As a comparison Joey Votto was +7.4 in 2011 and +6.5 in 2012; ALR was +6.1 in 2012. Let's not pretend that Michael Morse is an above average 1st baseman; he's not and this is why signing ALR is still the best option for the Nats.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Gonat just tweeted this that in 2011 in the 83 games that Michael Morse played 1st base he slashed: .336/.401/.601/1.002 on a 40 homer 120 RBI pace. That is Triple Crown type numbers.

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    JD, still small sample sizes on Morse's UZR. I think he can be an All Star at 1st base and will improve with his defense if ALR doesn't return. Ryan Howard has played there is whole career. Morse doesn't even have 1 full season at 1st base.

  10. NatsLady - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Also from the previous post (the Hanson-Walden thread).Yeah, just reading a lot of stats on Hanson's decline. For example:David O'Brien ‏@ajcbravesHanson was 10-4 w/2.44 ERA and .190 opp avg in 17 starts before the 2011 All-Star break, is 14-13 w/ 4.96 ERA and .277 OA in 36 starts sinceand also his declining velocity. Which makes you wonder if Wren sold the Halos damaged goods (shoulder with a partial tear that could or should need surgery). Of course, the Angels can do a physical, and the Angels can watch videos and read stats, but that's not the same as watching the guy game in, game out, or seeing what treatment he gets from the trainers. It seems like the Angels just traded one risky pitcher (Haren) for another (Hanson), although the former is cheaper. From Bowden, Haren won 12g with 4.33 ERA; Hanson won 13g with 4.48 ERA; Haren made $12.75m Hanson is 1st time arbit elgible will make 9m less than Haren.

  11. NatsLady - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Michael Morse can improve at 1B. ALR did, Votto did. If ALR doesn't come back and Morse knows he will be at the position, then he needs to hire a coach and spend three months learning it (example, charging bunts).

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    NatsLady, that was my thinking on Hanson. Same thing the Braves tried to do last year with Jurjjens. Angels will end up DFA'ing Hanson at some point would be my guess. Bad move.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=120&type=1&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0JD, plenty of 1st baseman in Morse's UZR category. Here's a bunch on Page 3. There's more if you look at fewer games played at 1st. Freddie Freeman and Ryan Howard and Mark Reynolds and Hosmer and Konerko and Brett Wallace and Corey Hart.That's a lot of large 1st baseman that lack the ultimate in range. Even LaRoche wasn't at the top of range. Morse is still an alternative until LaRoche signs somewhere else, LaRoche is still in the picture unless you believe Rizzo has moved on and I heard he has not…..yet.

  14. Positively Half St. - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    I am just going to say "In Rizzo We Trust," and see what he pulls off. I really do love the Winter Meetings.+1/2St.

  15. NatsLady - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Whether or not it improved his offense, Morse was "happier" at 1B than in LF. He may have even said so, he did say something to the effect that he likes to be "in on the action." And if you recall, he did not like DH'ing, especially in Boston where he couldn't find anything to do with himself between at-bats.

  16. NatsLady - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Brewers just non-tendered Manny Parra (lefty reliever). Nowhere close to Burnett or Gonzalez but he'd come cheap (probably close to league-minimum) and could be cut in spring training if he doesn't pan out.Manny Parrahttp://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/parrama01.shtml

  17. JD - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Ghost, I never implied that Morse was not an alternative at 1st base; he is clearly less of a problem there than in left field I just objected to the characterization of him as an 'above average' defensive 1st baseman. You are also correct that ALT does not have the greatest of ranges but he makes up for it by being so smooth around the bag.

  18. JD - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    NatsLady, The issue of the left handed reliever is an interesting one. There is no way one should pay a Loogy 3 * $6 mil like the Giants did with Afeldt. It's true that Burnett was much more than a Loogy last year; in fact he was the main set up guy the entire time Clip was closing but with both Clip and Storen back and healthy and with Matheus stepping up a notch I am not sure that we need Sean for that role. If you are looking for someone to get you 2 or 3 tough lefties out on most nights there are many pitchers who can accomplish this who you can have for a lot less than $6 mil a year.

  19. NatsLady - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    The Twitterverse is filled with pitchers who are being non-tendered. If that happens to Lannan he will have competition.

  20. Doc - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Steve M.:Could you give us some discussion on UZR, so that some Sabermtric perspective is uncovered. They discussed UZR on MLB Network "Clubhouse Confidential" last year and Brain Kenny joked that it was a stat that left a lot to be desired as far as being a reliable.Morse may have a few things to learn about 1B, but just don't think that he is all that bad. ALR probably knows more about positioning himself–but then again he's played about 12 years more at the bag than Morse.

  21. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Good stuff Chase.As posted in the previous thread, Span asked what Natitude is. the Natosphere melted down with responses.

  22. Section 222 - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    You better believe that if Morse ends up as our starting 1B he will take the job very seriously and get all the instruction and practice he needs to play the position as well as he possibly can. In his contract year, he needs to show he can do it all. Heck, he might even learn to do that intentional miss on a popped up bunt that ALR pulled off. That still is one of my favorite plays of the year.I'm sure Morse prefers 1B (or is "happier" there if you want to put it that way). It's an easier position, with less running, and he was raised as an infielder so sharp grounders don't trouble him. Morse is a happy warrior, great for the clubhouse vibe and for the fans. And I'll be very happy to see him unleashing the Beast again, after the crowd sings Take on Me. And if ALR re-signs, I'll be sad to see him take his talents elsewhere. But that's life in Rizzo's world, and In Rizzo We Trust.

  23. JaneB - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I'm about tomgomoff the grid and checked here for news of non-tenders. I'm grateful for the stats on CF options, and didn't realize I was reading Chase until I read 1a's comment. Good post!If we don't get ALR back I want Mikey there. His joy is great for the team and the fans, and so is his bat. But my main comment is that we were never in position to make moves to get a short term bump before. How cool that this is where we are now? I'm joining the "dump January" movement with you, waddu eye! And I'm going to start looking for places to sneak away and check for baseball news as soon as we arrive.Go Rizzo! Go Nats.

  24. waddu eye no - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    I like beast's 2011 numbers at 1b too. That was a year and a lat injury ago. Wont have to stress that lat as much throwing back to the mound as he did from LF. And i like the craziness. But i could be happy watching either him or ALR. Sooner the better

  25. Rabbit34 - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Hey sec222, I just got done watching that play on MLB. It was against the Marlins back in August.

  26. Feel Wood - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Morse is still an alternative until LaRoche signs somewhere else, LaRoche is still in the picture unless you believe Rizzo has moved on and I heard he has not…..yet.Rizzo hasn't moved on from wanting to sign ALR, but he's not raising his offer either. It's all up to LaRoche now. He can find a better offer somewhere else, or he can sign with the Nats at the offer that's on the table. There's no "negotiation" any more. Rizzo is perfectly happy to wait him out, just like he did last year with Fielder. Rizzo doesn't need LaRoche any more. He's fine with him or without him.

  27. Section 222 - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    One thought inspired by an earlier comment. I don't think that signing Greinke or Sanchez to a multi-year deal and putting out a lot of money to do it would be a "win this year at all costs move." I would see it as a dynasty solidifying move — a starting rotation of Stras, Greinke, Gio (#3!!), JZnn (#4!!!!!), and Det would be historically imposing. And we'd have it for at least the next three years. Even signing Lohse to a 2 year deal would put us in a position to have the most dominant rotation top to bottom in baseball, with a nice bridge to hopefully Purke or Giolito being able to take over in 2015. And for those who worry about having enough money to sign Desi, JZnn or others, I really don't think that's an issue. The Nats attendance is going to skyrocket this year, and with a rotation upgraded from last year taking us to the next level, the Lerners could be looking at Citizens Bank Park-like daily sellouts very soon. Conservatively, that's a $40 million increase in gate receipts alone per year, not to mention merchandise and beer profits on top of that. Not to mention the new TV deal, whenever it happens. A championship team will be a money printing press for the Lerners. Is it spring yet?

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Feel Wood, I think you said that well. On to the 5th starter and lefty relievers and down the road to what ALR decides.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Doc, Brian Kenny and others believe the UZR is graded too subjectively and can't account for hits and runs actually given up.The look and see test has always judged Morse as looking awkward in the outfield but does he miss balls he should have gotten to? Hard to judge shoulda coulda woulda.

  30. Section 222 - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Rabbit, the MLB video search function is awesome. Just type in "LaRoche bunt", "Bernadina catch", "Harper steal home", or "Werth walk-off" and you can find whatever highlight you feel like reliving. (I'm sure everyone knows what plays I'm thinking of…I've embarked on my now annual re-watching of the Nats' season via the condensed games on the MLB Media Center site. This is going to be a very fun season to relive, and it won't be hard to watch all 162 games before spring training.

  31. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Sec222 how much for the offseason package on MLB.Com

  32. Section 222 - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Michele, I don't know. All the stuff I was talking about is free. I'm just watching the condensed games, which are 10-20 minutes each depending on how much hitting there was in a given game. To watch every game start to finish would demand a time investment that even I, a seriously disturbed Nats devotee, am not willing to make!

  33. Don - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    I am not sure I agree that Rizzo now has leverage with ALR because they got Span. The club still needs another LHB with power as much as they did without Span. And the other clubs are no less interested in ALR.

  34. natsfan1a - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    See also Morse recreates his grand slam swing." :-)

  35. natsfan1a - Nov 30, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Oops. The closing quotation mark is in the link display, but the link works so whatever…

  36. Section 222 - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Don, I agree with you, partly. The main difference is that the Nats know they have a complete outfield if they have to move Morse to 1B, whereas before they had a question mark that might be answered by Moore or Bernadina or Brown, but wasn't a sure thing. That more than balances out the continued desire for ALR's LH bat. They'd like it, but they don't need it as much since Span is a leftie and Harper can move to the middle of the order. So Rizzo likely has more comfort in holding the line at the 2 (or 3 years max) that he's offering to ALR, but I wouldn't really call it leverage in the sense that it's going to change ALR's asking price or make him take a deal he's not happy with.

  37. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    If ALR goes, then either Morse or Moore will have the opportunity to get comfortable in that position. Every single player does a better job when they know where they are playing and get to play there almost every day. Switching positions and sitting the bench part time are hard things for almost every ball player. There are a few guys that are truly versatile enough to play all around the field, but most of them improve with daily repetition at one position.

  38. Nats In Athens - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I wholeheartedly agree with S222. I think the upside of Span is that it saves us great money. Money they need to spend to get the best SP around, and that is still Greinke. As far as the cost of signing him is concerned, and our worries that we need to save money to lock in our other players, a dollar (in baseball) is not what it used to be. The team will have at least 30MM more per year from MASN (and that will reset in five years time again), plus an additional 20MM or so from the national TV contracts and probably another 10MM in ticket and stadium sales. All together that is an increase of 60MM (at least) or so from next year, more than enough to keep the team going.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Baseballswami, very true. It's a contract year for Morse which will add to his incentive. Expect a big Morse season!

  40. NI Watcher - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Whatever happened to Chris Marrero?

  41. Eugene in Oregon - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Isn't this a lot more fun than waiting — endlessly, it seemed — on Prince Fielder's decision last offseason?

  42. TheManBearPig - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    It's hard to imagine LaRoche settling for a 2 year deal. Although I imagine that Rizzo's Plan A is LaRoche at 1b for 2013-2014, it's looking more and more like we'll see plan B – Morse at 1b in 2013 and move Zim to 1b in 2014, unless Morse has another year like 2011 and can reach an agreement with the Nats for an extension. I'll be sorry to see either LaRoche or Morse go, but it will be good to have Moore's bat coming off the bench again.

  43. sjm308 - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    I love being in the win/win situation with LaRoche & Morse. I agree with others that Morse will work hard at his craft and improve at first base. It was a small sample size but his hitting was certainly outstanding in the time he played there in 2011. The fact that he is in a move year on his contract should also help greatly.I believe Rizzo will not go higher than two years with LaRoche, but I have no inside information on that.On the title of this post, I was talking to my son last night, we were both excited and I did not have data but I mentioned that the great thing about this was we were not tied up for 5 years and that Span could do pretty much what Upton and Bourn can do in the field. I love this trade!!

  44. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Marrero's looking for an agent who speaks Japanese.

  45. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Does anyone know when we will hear about the non-tendering situation? Six hours to go? I would also be interested to know if any other teams pursued Span. Seems like they were focused on the bigger names/bigger dollars. I find that after 24 hours I am much more ok with this deal. I always marvel at how Rizzo can sneak in the back door with no rumors, no muss, no fuss and pull off something special. I wish some reporter would follow him around for 24 hours – if they could keep up with him — it would be fascinating.

  46. MicheleS - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Braves non tendered jurjins and moylan.

  47. peric - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Chase Hughes? No, the logic that Dan Kolko makes the most sense. At least to me. Looks to me like they picked prospects over payroll in this transaction. Even in losing Alex Meyer and gaining an inexpensive left-handed CF still under 30.I made the mistake of thinking the Nats would use their trove of prospects to pick up a left-handed (per Drew's suggestion) starter like David Price. Of course Price probably became too pricey when he won the Cy Young. And apparently the Rays have thought better of bleeding top talent while hoping to replace it from the enormous spigot their farm system promised to provide. I thought the FO would go the cheaper, monetarily, route of signing a left-handed hitting outfielder like Swisher. While trading the farm for a top, young left-handed starter.Even though it cost them Alex Meyer it would appear that Nationals consider their prospect trove far more valuable than their payroll because it now sure looks like the next shoe to fall should be Zach Grienke to go with Denard Span. The principal owner apparently still likes him.Span is more of a Riggleman player and Rizzo has often talked about building rosters like that. I assumed it was because Riggleman was the manager, but apparently the Nats FO doesn't entirely buy into the Davey/Earl of Ballimer philosophy. In Davey's case its not going to bother him. He still has left handed Corey Brown who is a power hitting outfielder with superlative fielding skills for his bench. He still has Roger Bernadina who now appears to be a "tweener". Plus he has Tyler Moore and Michael Morse on the right side both at first and in the outfield as well as on the bench.Plus, as Kolko mentions, now they have time to see what Goodwin does in the minors and he is definitely not a slap hitter. BUT, he is having problems hitting left-handed pitching among other things.BUT, they still need left-handed relief in addition to another starter.Let's assume they sign Grienke. Then they need to trade for left-handed relief using Morse and Bernadina both now proven quantities. That would leave Brown and Lombardozzi as the backups along with Tyler Moore either on the bench or in the field. If he isn't selected in the rule 5 Jeff Kobernus plus Chris Marerro are possibilities as bench bats. They are kind of stuck until Purke, Solis, Turnbull, and Mooneyham prove their mettle. They need at least one short relief power pitcher and Gorzelanny and Duke are more setup, middle to long.

  48. Section 222 - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Darn it. I always liked the way the Nats beat up on Peter Moylan. Can the Phillies sign him now?

  49. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    What LaRoche wanted most in his next contract was a place where he could buy a home, put his kids in school and play for a winning team. He isn't getting it here — or at most is getting a two-year play — and I doubt whether there is any other place where he can get it. There are places (Pittsburgh, Oakland, Miami) that wouldn't give him the money; places where he wouldn't be on a winning team (Colorado, Cleveland, Seattle). About the only places I can imagine he could get three years — and maybe enjoy living there — are Texas and Houston. And Texas has several internal options, and Houston has a 1B who just finished AA.His timing just isn't right.

  50. Section 222 - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Chris Marrero as a bench bat? Nah. Thank goodness we're way past that.

  51. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    I've said it before and I'll say it again:Chris Marrero is this century's Larry Broadway.

  52. Feel Wood - Dec 1, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Theophilus T. S. said… What LaRoche wanted most in his next contract was a place where he could buy a home, put his kids in school and play for a winning team.The last one, sure. But the first two? No way. The dude is a cattle rancher and deer hunter in the offseason, which also happens to be the timeframe when kids are in school. So if he does buy a home in whatever city he plays in, it's going to be a second home. He's not going to live in that city year-round like Werth does. His home is always going to be Kansas, no matter what team he plays for.

  53. baseballswami - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    ALR does not seem much like a city guy. And is there any word on the tender situation? Isn't the deadline mid- night?

  54. SCNatsFan - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Peric – long post but do you like the aquisition of Span or mot?

  55. MicheleS - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Swami, just checked the twitter feed and as usual, Rizzo is acting like the head of the CIA.

  56. Nats Fan in Brazil - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Well, LaRoche could live in Warrenton, VA is only 40 minutes away from D.C, with great schools, and a lot of deer to hunt!

  57. MicheleS - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    NF in Brazil, on a good day Warrenton is a about 1.5 hours. Sorry, the traffic stinks out that way now. On a normal day, it would be a minimum of 2 hours probably longer.

  58. Nats Fan in Brazil - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    MIcheleS, how is that? i used to live there, 2011, and my american dad worked on a company that was really close to the nats park, he usually took a hour to get home! did the traffic change so much since I left? well still a great city :)

  59. MicheleS - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    Depends on what time of day you leave at. If you are in rush hour traffic, it's an hour at a min to get from Warrenton to the Beltway.

  60. baseballswami - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    O' s not signing Reynolds. The ranks of the unemployed players begins to lengthen .

  61. peric - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Peric – long post but do you like the aquisition of Span or not?I see Span as a better Nyjer Morgan, better make up, more stable, consistent performer and fielder. He is team controllable at a very reasonable cost for three years. Because of that he doesn't block any player from beating him out for his spot as Jayson Werth and his contract currently do. Also, he isn't really a Davey Johnson kind of CF or hitter given how enamored he is with Harper? And Rendon's bat? Also, its not what I expected Rizzo to do. Instead of using multiple prospects to get another top left-handed pitcher he decided to keep the prospects (well, let's face it the farm system is getting awfully thin again after Rendon, Giolito, and a couple of others) and go for the best free agent pitcher he could. In my mind that means Ted Lerner is in play and is involved in once again trying to get Grienke to come to DC. I think Ted Lerner wins this time. If Corey Brown or Roger Bernadina or Harper beat Span out in spring training or during the season for the CF spot it doesn't hurt the Nats to make him a bench player given his contract. Not at all like the huge no-trade Werthian contract. I imagine they feel they need to get a year or two more out of Jayson as a starter before they decide they can do that with him. Unlike Werth Span can be traded and would be valued by other GM's.So, its not a bad deal all things considered but I do consider it a precursor to bigger things as the offseason unfolds. They still need that starter and they still need one or two back-end of the bullpen left-handed power relievers.

  62. peric - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Nats non-tender John Lannan.

  63. baseballswami - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Lannan non- tendered. Kind of sad. He hung in for us during the rough years and really showed up for us this year.

  64. Gonat - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal #Nationals' non-tenders: Gorzelanny, Lannan, Flores.

  65. peric - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Lannan, Gorzelanny, and Flores.Two left-handed starters. Rizzo must have something up his sleeve trade-wise.

  66. Gonat - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    peric said… Nats non-tender John Lannan. November 30, 2012 10:39 PM _________________________________Now you won't have to complain about him any more.

  67. SCNatsFan - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    In no universe do I see Brown beating Span for cf. To me they finally got the guy they wanted for a price they could swallow. With Goodwin I'm the pipe I can't see Brown with any more of a role then Bernsdina has had with this team.

  68. baseballswami - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Flores and Gorzelanny, too. Not too much of a surprise. Just kind of sad.

  69. hiramhover - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Surprised about Lannan. Seemed smarter to string him along until ST at least, until they were sure the 5th starter slot was locked up.And yeah, it is kinda sad. No one was ever going to confuse him with an ace, but seems like a good guy who does the best with what he has.

  70. peric - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Three slots open up on the Nat's 40-man roster that makes it 36 with 4 slots open.

  71. baseballswami - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Surely this list will grow as other teams report. Sad night in MLB.

  72. sjm308 - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Peric: once again you provide great humor to this blog. "If Corey Brown or Roger Bernadina beat Span out in Spring Training" Do you really think about what you write before you write it?? We sent a top prospect to the Twins, Rizzo has wanted Span for over two years and you still are trying to promote your minor league hero Corey Brown. This is a great trade and Span is a proven major league player. Bernadina is just fine as a #4 outfielder and Brown could fill in the same spot but neither one can provide what Span does. It's ok for you to not have all the answers and when you post like this it just gives Natsjack and others more ammunition to take shots.Its not close to being a bad deal, its actually the perfect deal for what we needed and you are correct that we still need the starter and bullpen help but I think it has been shown that they do not have to be left-handed. See pdowdy about a week ago. Surprised someone here actually felt they needed to ask you how you felt. I was also surprised you didn't take up space to write about LannEn and his lack of ability.Go Nats

  73. peric - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    In no universe do I see Brown beating Span for cf. To me they finally got the guy they wanted for a price they could swallow. With Goodwin I'm the pipe I can't see Brown with any more of a role then Bernsdina has had with this team.A lot of people have said that about guys like Morse, T-Mo until he proved he could hit for power in AA and learn to field decently. Cllippard was terrible … and then?Never say never again SCNat just as Sean Connery learned when Talia Shire convinced him to play an older lecherous Bond in her movie.

  74. hiramhover - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Well of course he thinks about it, sjm. That kind of silliness, day in and day out, can't be accidental.

  75. Section 222 - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Wow. Gorzo, Flores, Lannan all non-tendered. Shows what I know. Rizzo is ruthless.Span ends up a bench player because Brown or Bernadina beats him out in ST? Hahahahahahahhahahahahahahha. peric, you've outdone yourself with this one.

  76. peric - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    We sent a top prospect to the Twins, Rizzo has wanted Span for over two years and you still are trying to promote your minor league hero Corey Brown. This is a great trade and Span is a proven major league player.And so if Brown started popping off home runs and extra base hits or Bernadina Davey? ~laughing~That's the good part of this deal. Span HAS TO EARN the job. He already lost the CF job to another guy in "Minnesoda" right? What makes you think it can't happen here with Davey?That's the great thing: Span has to prove he deserves to start every single year. If he gets injured he could lose the slot. He isn't a "shoo-in" as a starter because of his huge contract with a no-trade like Jayson Werth.

  77. peric - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    So, if Span is so great? A perennial All Star? How did he lose his job to Ben Revere? C'mon, of course Span can lose out to one of the other guys that's one of the attributes of the deal that makes it a winning deal. Span can't block anyone. Not Brown, Bernadina, Goodwin, nor even potential Michael Taylor because you just never know.

  78. Gonat - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    Rizzo may try to re-sign Gorzo. Surprised he didn't tender Lannan and trade him.

  79. sjm308 - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    I understand Flores but the two lefties leave me a little baffled. I would be hopeful that Rizzo tries to re-sign Gorzo and that he is open to that.

  80. baseballswami - Dec 1, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    No left relievers under contract.i sure that Rizzo has a plan or two. I would love to see Burnett stay.

  81. sjm308 - Dec 1, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    Peric – no one here said Span was an all-star. Its just that Brown and Bernadina have had YEARS to establish their credentials and it appears that Span has done a better job. Just let it go, you said something silly and as usual, were called on it. Span has better stats and better credentials than both Bernadina and Brown. In fact, I like Brown but he has not been able to produce to the liking of Davey or Rizzo. Hence, they trade for Span. Brown could hit .500 this spring and Span will still get the start if he is healthy. Its just the way it works.

  82. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 1, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    ouch lannen, gorzo, and flores tendered, i didn't see gorzo coming, we really need a lefty in the pen, hopefully rizzo has something good up his sleeve, also, what was the point of non-tendering gorzo he was a very good lefty long reliever last season plus i don't remember that his contract has that hefty, someone want to explain that move to me?

  83. Feel Wood - Dec 1, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    Remember, all peric is is a long-winded version of JayB. The same fixation on a totally irrational view of certain players and their role in the Nats' past, current or future success. No point arguing with him. It's like the old saying about trying to teach a pig to sing. He'll never learn and all it does is annoy the pig.

  84. Nats Fan in Brazil - Dec 1, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    i kind understand what peric is saying.if u think about it, it makes sense.imagine span starts the season the way pujols did last season, he could be benched? Yes, he will? Probabilidade not, but he could.Just saying that davey hás no obriglation in starting span like he hás To werth or harp or zim

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