Friday, November 30, 2012

What the Span acquisition means.

With the Nats trading prospect Alex Meyer to the Twins for CF Denard Span, a few things start to become clear for the team going into 2013. Span is one of the league's premier defensive CF, so he will be entrenched there and most likely at the top of the order. Harper and Werth become the team's corner OF, with debate to ensue about needing more range and athleticism to play LF (Haper wins there) and wanting your best arm in RF (Harper wins there too). Their positioning could go either way, but LF is bigger than RF in Nats Park, so you might expect to see Harper in LF and Werth in RF at least to start the year.

This moves Morse to 1B where he's got a lot of power, but not the OBP that LaRoche brings. The team says that it is still focused on resigning LaRoche, which would send Morse to the trading block (he may be better suited for an AL team where he can DH, since his glove is pretty sub par), but it remains to be seen if they will meet the 3 years and $11m per season plus he is looking for. The team is rumored to be kicking tires on Grienke, which would give them hands down the best rotation in baseball, and if they went that route they would go with Morse at 1B to offset the money. Signing a mid rotation guy like Jackson last year will be about $10m, and LaRoche would be about $11 so that $21m could be spent on Grienke and Morse and his affordable contract placed at 1B.

The team should be active tying up this triangle and deciding if they are going after pitching or hitting at the Winter Meetings next week. The OF seems shored up now, and with seemingly somewhere in the ballpark of $20-25m to spend they could make one big splash or two smaller splashes next week. In addition they have key trade piece Anthony Rendon getting healthy, and you could see him packaged out next in a deal for whatever piece puts them over the top this year.

As I said last year when they traded for Gio, they were a playoff team, they proved me right once, and now I'm saying that they are poised to become a WS favorite depending on how these few moves shape up.