Nats Acquire Span
The biggest news in baseball today is the Nationals’ acquisition of center fielder Denard Span. Span, 28, has two years, $11.25 million left on his contract and a $9 million team option for 2015. The Nationals parted with 2011 first-round pick, right-hander Alex Meyer for Span. Span is a career .284/.357/.389 hitter and a plus defender in center.
The trade for Span narrows the Phillies’ options, however, it also takes a potential destination off the table for the other free agent center fielders. With the Giants still the favorite for Angel Pagan until further notice, it appears that the Phillies may have their pick between Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Shane Victorino, non-tender candidate Andres Torres, and others as free agents and the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson and Rockies’ Dexter Fowler as trade targets. The teams still seeking center fielders is believed to be narrowed to the Phillies, Reds, Red Sox, Indians, Marlins, and Rays, although it is believed that of those teams, only the Phillies, Reds, and Red Sox have money to spend.
Upton Offered $20 Million Less By Phils
The Phillies reportedly came in second place in the B.J. Upton bidding war. The Phils’ offer of five years, $55 million was topped by over $20 million by the Braves according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
Trade Falls Through
The Phillies/Astros deal to bring Wilton Lopez to Philadelphia has reportedly fallen through. Per Jim Salisbury of CSN, the Phillies have “put on the breaks” on the trade and the two rumors include that the Astros have drummed up interest from other teams and that something related to Lopez’s physical may have turned the Phils’ interest sour. Todd Zolecki was the first to report that the trade looked unlikely and it was learned (ESPN Insider) that the deal was thought to include pitcher Tyler Cloyd and catcher Sebastian Valle, who is among the best position-player prospects in the Phillies’ system.
Chan Ho Park, member of the 2009 Phillies World Series team, will retire at age 39. Park was the first Korean-born player to reach the Major Leagues. Park spent 2011 and 2012 pitching in Korea and Japan and last pitched in the Majors for the Pirates. My favorite Park memory? The game in early 2009 where he and Johan Santana took dueling no-hitters into the sixth. Park took his longer (5.2 IP) but lost 1-0.