The Washington Nationals filled one of their longstanding holes Thursday afternoon when they acquired center fielder Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Alex Meyer.
Span, a 28-year-old center fielder, is signed through the 2014 season with an option for 2015. He gives the Nationals the bonafide leadoff-hitting center fielder the team has been seeking for years and allows them to move Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper to the corner position.
It also gives the team leeway in the case that they do not re-sign first baseman Adam LaRoche. Michael Morse can easily shift to first base and Span, who is left-handed, would help them continue to balance the lineup at the top while giving them the ability to move Harper, who hit primarily No. 2, into more of the middle of the order.
Meyer was one of the Nationals’ best pitching prospects and their representative at the 2012 Futures Game in Kansas City. The 6-foot-9 right-hander out of Kentucky was one of their first-round draft picks in 2011 and considered to be on the fast track to the major leagues. Meyer had a 2.86 ERA in Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg this season.
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