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Twins trade Span to Nationals for pitching prospect Meyer

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The Twins announced Thursday that they traded center fielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for right-handed pitching prospect Alex Meyer.

MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger broke the story via Twitter:

According to Twins blogger Aaron Gleeman, Span will will take over as the Nationals’ center fielder and leadoff man, with Ben Revere taking over in center field at Target Field in 2013.

Meyer, at 6-feet, 9-inches tall, can throw in the mid to upper-90s. Twins general manager Terry Ryan tells the Star Tribune that Meyer has the potential to be a staff ace. However, they'll probably have to wait a year or two before he gets to the Major League level.

Assistant GM Rob Antony tells 1500 ESPN the Twins are probably going to turn their attention to agents, rather than teams -- meaning the next move will likley come via free agency.

Michael Rand points out that with Span gone, the Twins' payroll drops from about $76 million to $70 million -- good news for a team in search of signing top-end starting pitchers. He also notes that if Meyer turns into a bust, the trade will look really bad.

Tom Powers has a message to the Twins: "Don't ruin a rare power pitcher."

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Related

Ryan: Span not trade bait

The Washington Nationals might want Denard Span to be their leadoff hitter, but it doesn’t sound like he’s going anywhere. Twins GM Terry Ryan tells the Washington Post Minnesota’s outfield is a “little lean”, and plans on Span hitting leadoff and playing center next year.