Some may read that with the thoughts that I am happy about getting Alex Meyer for Denard Span. I am not happy what so ever. I appreciate everything that Span has done for the Twins but we all knew that this day was coming at some point. I hope for nothing but the best in DC for him and I hope that they resign him to the type of contract that he deserves. And I like the prospects of Alex Meyer and the fact that he is a starting pitcher but there is more about the deal that I don’t like.
First reaction is “That’s it?”. Nothing against Meyer and his talents but the Twins have been shopping Span for over 2 trade deadlines, almost 3 MLB Winter Meetings and the best deal that you can get for a CF that will be a mainstay at the top of anyone’s order is a #6 prospect from 1 team’s organization. Not the #6 overall prospect, but just the Nationals’ #6. Okay well maybe it was because he is ready to start in the Show this year right? No, he has only 1 season of pro experience at the A level of the Minors. So then he was a huge prospect that went early in the draft right? Nope, he was actually drafted lower than Span was. (Meyer was #23 of 2012, Span #20 of 2002).
Okay, now that the initial disappointment is gone, let’s talk about the positives that this deal includes. Meyer is a power arm, just like I said that the Twins need to start looking for. It is reported that his fastball in around 97, he has power slider, and is working on a changeup. The one thing that our coaching staff can do is work the changeups. (Just look at Santana and Liriano while here) He seems to have the pitching philosophy that the Twins like in starting with strikes early and working from ahead in the count. Meyer does seem to have more of a strikeout potential than most of the current pitchers on the staff but we will see come 2014. That is the only real negative that I see with Meyer is that he is expected to start in AA New Britain and the Twins will not rush any one up too early.
The other half of the deal and what it does for the Twins is that it opens up a spot for another everyday position player. Dealing Span will let the Twins move Revere to the top of the order and into CF, where his speed and arm play better than in RF. With Willingham in LF, that leaves RF open for a myriad of options. You have Doumit that can play there when Mauer and Morneau are both in the lineup. They can play Parmelee there to get him more consistent at bats, and get a proper evaluation of if he can play in the Bigs long term. You also have a bevy of prospects that are just chomping at the bit to earn that spot too. You have Mastroiani that spent quite a bit of time with the Twins last year before breaking his hand late. You also have the trio of Hicks, Arcia, and Benson that all spent major time in New Britain last year and many believe are ready for the call up. Benson was close to breaking camp with the Twins last year but they decided to send him back to AA to get more at bats and playing time. He had a bit of a down year but I think comes back hungry this year. Arcia got the nod to play in the Futures game last year during the All Star break. He is thought to be able to have a little more power than Benson or Hicks.
Now a couple of other notes to mention. The Twins are in “talks” with Liriano to bring him back to Minneapolis. Now I have always liked Frankie and still pull for him, I am just not sure that this should be our target right now. Shouldn’t we still be talking to Greinke, Marcum, McCarthy, and even Saunders. No offense to Liriano but if they are going to resign a ex-Twin, I would rather they go after Kyle Lohse. Now I know that is kind of like saying why go after Oswalt when you can get Halladay? I realize that the Cards just offered him $13.3M for 1 year. A fan can hope right :). Oh and I just noticed that in another article that Alex Meyer was listed as #2 in the Nationals prospect list and will slot in at #3 on the Twins behind Sano and Buxton. I just wish that we had received more for Span than 1 prospect. Span still has 2 years on his contract and at below market value also and we get a pitcher that has 2 + pitches and still needs some work to get to the Pros. Ryan needs to step his game up before he is very cordially shown the door.