The health issues you mention are a legitimate concern, but it’s worth re-iterating that Span’s biggest loss of playing time was for the concussion and post-concussion symptoms in 2011, and the time he missed in 2012 was for unrelated injuries. So, he’s already had a full season free of the issue that put him on the shelf for the most time in his whole career.
Assuming that the Twins are seriously looking at trading him I’m interested to see whether their target is several prospects, to help rebuilding/depth (which is what I’d prefer to see), or one bigger-impact guy (a la the rumors circulating about Span+ for James Shields.) It’ll be an indicator of what their bigger plan for the next couple years is.
There’s certainly a lot of talk around this idea, but I don’t see that the Twins have real reason to move Span unless they can get someone to pay a pretty price for him. They shouldn’t be looking to pick up an outfielder in FA because there are a ton in the prospect pipeline, but right now they only have three who can play on the major-league level. Hicks or Arcia might be ready at midseason, but then again might not. I think it makes a lot more sense to look to move Span in July if the situation is appropriate.
I think the Braves match up well with the Twins for this trade, and really any team in need of pitching. They have pitching available at nearly every level, so whether the Twins want multiple pitchers or one big one like Delgado, the Braves would probably be willing to send them over. The Braves could also potentially throw in newly re-acquired Jordan Schafer to fill the spot until one of the many Twins OF prospects are ready. Schafer is truly awful, but has a good bit of major league experience and is young enough to still see a small amount of potential, perfect for a stopgap situation. I think Frank Wren has Span very close to the top of his list, just waiting to see what the offer will be.
As a Twins fan, Atlanta is the least desirable trade partner. You’d be looking to part with a declining Hansen, or guys that had considerable upside a year ago in Delgado and Teheran, but took a step back this year. Span is good enough and cheap enough to warrant an SP2 or SP3 or a prospect that is ML ready right now.
Target is not a great hitters’ park, but Span has done well there. His OPS was .881 at home vs .593 on the road last year.
Comment by Bombo Rivera — November 5, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
Hanson may be involved, but not as the centerpiece. Delgado didn’t take a step back, and is a serviceable #5 starter with #2 upside. It goes even deeper with prospects like Gilmartin, Spruill, and Sims as well. If you wanted to do a deal around Mike Minor, that may work as well (though I’d like to keep him in a Braves uniform). Delgado posted a 104 FIP- in 92 innings and at 22, should progress to a better than average pitcher by next year. Not many clubs have #5 pitchers, or even #4 pitchers that post above average FIP- numbers, and to have one do it at 23 would be great value. He is under team control for a long time and should be an attractive piece for any team that needs pitching.