Author Topic: Alex Meyer for Denard Span. Arrr! The White Whale be ours! *stamps peg leg*  (Read 6814 times)

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Offline hammondsnats

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there was no way we could afford to allow morse to play LF anymore.  not fair to him, not fair to the team, not fair to the fans, not fair to the pitching staff.

Offline cletusvandamme

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Hasn't KLaw been one of the louder voices that Meyer is 80-20 to land in the bullpen, even saying as much as recently as this summer?

Offline TylerDC

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Love this.

Offline PC

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The least surprising sentence I'll read tonight, from MLBTR:

From our friend Keith Law:

Quote
The Washington Nationals didn't get much production from their non-wunderkind outfielders in 2012, so adding Denard Span and sliding Bryce Harper to right makes the team better by a couple of wins in 2013. The price they paid was heavy, though, with the Minnesota Twins receiving Alex Meyer the kind of hard-throwing, high-upside arm their system lacks.


Span is a solid everyday player who has made himself into an above-average defender in center, a position where his modest bat will play even though he's not particularly patient and has well below-average power. Span's deal pays him a very reasonable $10.25 million total over the next two seasons, with a $9 million option for 2015, so the Nats get three years of control at affordable prices, and can walk away from Span right at the point where he's likely to start to see his value slip. In the interim, however, he gives them an average regular in center whose value will fluctuate with his BABIP.

He has quick wrists and has a handsy swing, putting the ball in play at a very high rate and using the whole field but rarely driving the ball for power. He's a plus runner who gains a few hits each year from his speed and has been worth a few extra runs a year on the bases as well. Yet even in his two highest-BABIP seasons, he's peaked at 4 wins above replacement (per FanGraphs), and the ups and downs of his batting average on balls in play can shave more than a win off that figure. That's still a good fit for a Nats team that lacked a true centerfielder.

For that, however, they gave up a very good pitching prospect in Meyer, who, if he stays healthy, could easily make the Nats regret this deal in the long run. Meyer is generally tabbed as a future reliever because he's primarily a two-pitch guy who, at 6-foot-7, has had trouble keeping his mechanics together, and comes from a slot below three-quarters. I can see all of those concerns and do think there's a chance Meyer ends up in relief, but I'm also somewhat optimistic that he can remain a starter -- and if he does, he'll likely be a very good one, pitching near the top of a rotation.

Meyer has touched 99 and can work at 92-97 even as a starter, with good life on the pitch due to his low slot, although his ground ball rates in pro ball have been just okay. His slider is filthy, a bona fide out pitch whether he starts or closes in the majors, while his changeup has improved to the point where it's probably a future-average pitch. (He hasn't shown any kind of platoon split so far in the minors anyway.) There's a good enough chance that he starts that I'd hate to give him up for three years of a league-average centerfielder unless my club was an immediate contender -- which the Nats are. For the Twins, this gives them the potential frontline starter they didn't see in the 2012 draft class, when they passed on Kevin Gausman and Mark Appel in favor of very high-upside prep center fielder Byron Buxton. Pair Meyer with the resurgent Kyle Gibson, who showed a plus mid-80s slider in the Arizona Fall League, and the Twins' future pitching situation looks a lot more promising.

This does leave Washington's system fairly short on the pitching side at the moment. The Nats' best remaining starting pitching prospect, Luc Giolito, is out until next summer after Tommy John surgery, and while he projects as a potential No. 1 or No. 2 starter, he's probably five years away from major-league impact. Their next-best starter prospect, lefty Sammy Solis, is just coming back from the same operation. Nate Karns is the sleeper, with a plus fastball/curveball combo and a potentially plus changeup, but he's yet to reach Double-A at age 24. They're going to live or die with the pitching already on the big club, or whatever they can add through free agency, because they don't have much arriving soon and their tradeable assets are dwindling.

One other possible beneficiary of this deal is the Colorado Rockies, should they choose to move Dexter Fowler, a talented, athletic center fielder who doesn't have Span's speed or defensive value but has more offensive potential, especially in terms of power. The Rockies' direction isn't entirely clear to me, but Fowler's youth and affordability should net them a higher return than the strong one the Twins just got for Span.

Offline PC

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Quote
The Washington Nationals didn't get much production from their non-wunderkind outfielders in 2012...

He's wrong in the very first sentence.   :?

Offline PebbleBall

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It's funny that Law never finds Nats prospects impressive until they're traded.

Offline blue911

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Per Law

Quote
There's a good enough chance that he starts that I'd hate to give him up for three years of a league-average centerfielder unless my club was an immediate contender -- which the Nats are.

He doesn't say anything negative at all. Period end of story. This is about as close as you'll ever see Law gushing about a trade. Especially since he likes it for both teams.
Pointing out that the Nationals are thin in the minors isn't anything that we haven't discussed on this board. His remark about the Nats outfield is spot on, if you go by fWAR so it isn't as if he's making crap up

 Jesus H. Flores people read the crap before you whine about it.

Offline imref

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And as everyone has noted, assuming we extend JZ, we're pretty well set with our top four for the next 4 years.  By that point you hope Giolito is ready.

FWIW, I've talked to a few friends who saw Giolito pitch, they all say he's a beast.

Offline imref

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interesting timing, fangraphs just published a scouting report on Meyer by a guy who is watching him pitch in Georgia.  he argues that mechanical issues probably mean Meyer's ceiling is as a closer or solid bullpen pitcher:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/washington-nationals-pitching-prospect-alex-meyer-scouting-report-video/

Quote
Meyer mixed in an upper-80′s slider with tight, late break. At its best, his arm action was identical to that of his fastball and it profiled as at least an above-average pitch. However, Meyer’s inconsistent mechanics caused him to intermittently drop his elbow or collapse his back leg leading to at least a handful of “hangers” up in the zone. Repetition and experience may help to iron these issues out, but once again, Meyer’s size and previous track record leaves questions as to how seamless those adjustments will be.

The most surprising aspect of Meyer’s outing was a changeup which was significantly better than expected. At 87-88 MPH, it was a harder change, but his arm action and late drop leaves the projection of an average third pitch — a key for projecting a starting pitcher. Once again, his command was inconsistent causing him to leave the pitch up and out to right-handed hitters too often, but it’s a strong starting point to build from.

In the end, Meyer will be a polarizing prospect due to his being a college pick still in need of significant refinement. Should one buy into the stuff and trust the Nationals can help him harness it, then it’s easy to see a peak of at least a mid-rotation starter. However, find a cynic, and he or she would point to Meyer presenting similarly to the pitcher drafted in 2008 and pencil him as a future closer due to a lack of feel and the perception his control may not improve all that much going forward.

For me personally, I’m more apt to side with the cynics as Meyer presented as a better version of Chicago White Sox prospect Jacob Petricka, a name few casual prospect fans have heard of. And while it took only a few seconds to slot Petricka as a future bullpen arm at the game’s highest level (if that), Meyer has the changeup and athleticism to have at least a puncher’s chance at settling in as a starter long term.

Offline WhiteWhale

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I don't think Span will destroy the fleet and try to drag Rizzo to the bottom of the ocean - But the White Whale has been found, and Rizzo is better than Ahab. It took much less collateral damage to get it done, and he can only get away when Rizzo wants him to.

Offline tomterp

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The white whale, it has been landed.



 :lol:

With all due respect to Houston-nat, I modified the thread title to reflect that seminal moment in Rizzo - Nats  history. 

He can change it back if he doesn't like it, of course. 

Offline PC

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Quote
This does leave Washington's system fairly short on the pitching side at the moment.

That was true anyway regardless of the trade.  Meyer pitched in A-A+ last year and was nowhere near ready to pitch in the majors.

This was just a pointless dig at the team's organization, as usual for Law.

Offline Rasta

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I agree with Blue.  Law was not bashing the Nats.  He was simply stating his opinion and anyone who reads him knows he will bash anyone at any time. 

As with every trade, we won't know who won the trade for years.  If Meyer becomes a top of the rotation starter while Span is nothing more than average then the Twins win the trade.  If Span becomes an integral part of the lineup with great defense and the Nats win a title while Meyer becomes a reliever then we probably win.

Right now it looks good for the Nats who need that speed in both the outfield and at the top of the lineup IMO.

Offline aspenbubba

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Assuming that ALR is NOT re-signed we are covered for this year with Morse at first. Who plays 1B next year? Don't say TMoore as it is not a given. He is yet to be a proven commodity as much as I like him. Do we go to the FA market or do we try to re-sign Morse? I think that this could be a hole in 2014 and beyond. It would be great if TMoore has about 250 AB's this year but I believe that would be hard to achieve barring any injuries to MMorse .

Offline houston-nat

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:lol:

With all due respect to Houston-nat, I modified the thread title to reflect that seminal moment in Rizzo - Nats  history. 

He can change it back if he doesn't like it, of course.
I made a minor adjustment. ;)

Offline GSW

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Werth should be able to replace the RBI's that Adam had, (if they let Adam go....)

And if they trade Mike.... and keep Adam... Woooooooow :shock: :pray:

Offline blue911

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Assuming that ALR is NOT re-signed we are covered for this year with Morse at first. Who plays 1B next year? Don't say TMoore as it is not a given. He is yet to be a proven commodity as much as I like him. Do we go to the FA market or do we try to re-sign Morse? I think that this could be a hole in 2014 and beyond. It would be great if TMoore has about 250 AB's this year but I believe that would be hard to achieve barring any injuries to MMorse .

I wouldn't spend one second worrying about it. There are too many options to even make any type of educated decision at this point. 

Offline Hondo

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I would assume Moore, Zimmerman or Rendon.

Offline Smithian

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we need tags on this site

:SF likes 'em young:
:spit:

:lol:

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Aspen - I'm kind of with Blue on this. There are ton and half of ways they could go.  I think Rizzo has been very good about leaving himself different ways to go at almost every stage.

You could easily make the case 2014 case for ALR, Morse, Moore, Skole, Rendon, or RZ, or even Marrero or a
<===========
 of a righty plus Tracy, just from our guys signed for 2013 or who we are after.  I think bringing in Span now, before ALR signs with anyone, gives us more leverage with ALR (more of a willingness to let him walk), pulls a guy we don't want in left out of left (Morse), adds bench depth by letting Moore be a back up rather than start, creates flexibility in where we play Rendon, etc...  Had we waited until ALR signed, Rizzo loses maybe a bit of deal leverage with MN.

Offline Kevrock

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JCA, how hard do you try to come up with platoon situations just so you can
<------
in a post? :lol:

Offline markfnc

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I told my 11 year old last night.  He was so excited he couldnt stand it.  He says Nats are going to WS!.  Also asked when schedule will be out so we can pick out our DC weekend. 


Offline tomterp

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Offline comish4lif

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http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2197

TNSTAAPP

TNSTAAPP. Amen brother.

But I still don't like the trade. I'm not convinced that Span is good enough at the top of the order, just repeating some points already made but:
- hasn't played a full season since 2010, and has played in only 145, 153, 70 (concussed), and 128 games in the last 4 seasons.
- for a fast guy, has never stole more than 26 bases in a season. For his career, he has 90 steals and 28 CS. He's also been picked off an additional 28 times - these are not reflected in the CS totals. Sure, that's more than any Nat, but it doesn't make him a burner (Juan Pierre stole 37 bases last year with a .351 OBP).
- for a top of the lineup table setter, his career OBP is an impressive .357. But, his OBPs in 2008 and 2009 were .387 and .392 - fantastic. However, his OBP since then is a combined .334 - much less impressive.

Just my comments, I hope this works out for the Nats, but I'm not completely convinced.


http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/spande01-bat.shtml