So long, 6’9″ starting pitching prospect and 2011 first-rounder Alex Meyer. Mike Rizzo and the Nats shipped him to Minnesota for above-average center fielder and leadoff man Denard Span. (Bonus: Fangraphs loves the deal!)
This means a bunch of stuff:
— The new outfield is Span in center with Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper on the corners. That’s good defense.
— Mike Morse is moving out of left field, probably to 1B, and Adam LaRoche is probably moving out period. I’m happy not to suffer Morse’s outfield defense any longer. I’d miss LaRoche’s glove at first, though, and his lefthanded power bat in the lineup. I’d miss everything about Adam LaRoche, actually.
— Because they’re not signing a big-money CF and probably not re-signing LaRoche, the Nats have that much more to spend on pitching.
— Werth won’t bat leadoff now, which is good, especially if it moves Harper to the heart of the order and ensures Danny Espinosa stays out of the two spot.
— Tyler Moore will be a depth guy, picking up spot starts in the outfield and at first base, as it should be.
About Span: He averages 3.2 WAR/year for his career, is 28 and signed through 2014 at less than $6 million per with a $9 million club option for ’15. That’s a lot less than the $75 million Atlanta gave B.J. Upton and whatever it is Michael Bourn is going to get.
Welcome to D.C., new friend. Nice move, Rizzo.