“Hearing trade talks and going through a concussion wasn’t easy for me,” said Span, who was born in Washington but has never lived in the city. “But fast forward to today _ and I’m definitely ready. … I’m ready to be coming to a team that is already in a place to win, and I just hope that I can come here and not get in the way.”
Span played in 128 games this year, hitting .284 with four homers and 41 RBIs. He missed time late in the season due to a strained right collarbone, allowing Ben Revere to showcase his speed in the outfield and on the basepaths.
“He took a step forward last year in our minds,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan said of Revere. “He played well. He played with a wealth of energy. This should fit.”
The Twins are coming off back-to-back last-place finishes in the AL Central and were in desperate need of starting pitchers. Scott Diamond is the only proven starter on the roster right now and there is a dearth of power arms in the farm system to help fill the need.
The one area of strength the Twins had to deal for pitching was outfield, with Span and Revere with the big league team and promising prospects such as Aaron Hicks in the minor leagues. So while Span was a valuable player on the field and one of the respected veterans in the clubhouse, he was a natural candidate to be dangled in a trade.
Meyer should help, but not in the short-term. The 6-foot-9 flamethrower went 10-6 with a 2.86 ERA splitting time at Class A Potomac and Hagerstown this year.
“He’s a starting pitcher, which we need” Ryan said. “He’s got the stuff, he’s got the frame, he throws it over the plate. … He played in two different A-ball leagues last year. On the surface that means he’s not as close as you’d like, but we’ll let him dictate his pace and see exactly how he responds to it.”
AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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