Denard Span: Why He Can No Longer Be the Minnesota Twins' Center Fielder

Chris SchadContributor IIIApril 10, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 16: Denard Span #2 of the Minnesota Twins makes a catch in center field during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles on July 16, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Orioles 19-7. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

As far as recent Minnesota Twins draft picks go, Denard Span has to be a prime example of one that's worked out.

Span took a couple of years to get to the major leagues but has played with a temper since making his debut in 2007, batting .285 with 22 home runs and 218 runs batted in over five seasons.

The torch was passed down to Span by former Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, and Span has done a good job of taking it and running far away with it. Still, as all good baseball players must do, Span has to pass the torch down to Ben Revere in the near future.

Revere is currently playing out of position in right field but has done a spectacular job reaching fly balls that the average baseball player couldn't reach. The only problem with Revere in right is that his arm needs a little bit of work, and that's why Span has to give Revere the keys to center field.

This is not an indictment on Span, but putting him in right (where he began his career for an injured Michael Cuddyer) would help the Twins not have singles to right with a runner on automatically becoming guys on first and third.

Span also has a range that's a hair below Revere's and could play a solid right field defensively, helping the team in the process.

There's one hitch in this train of thought: It's possible that Span does not want to leave center field because it's the position that he's staked his claim to.

It's understandable why Span would think that because he's played his entire career there, but he needs to realize that he would help the team by letting Revere take over center.

If that's not the case, then the Twins must try to trade Span and get something for him. Especially since the current trade baits for the Twins (Matt Capps, Carl Pavano and Justin Morneau) are currently hurt or not performing well enough to be traded.

The Twins almost pulled the trigger with Span last year in a rumored deal with the Washington Nationals, which would have netted them (among others) closer Drew Storen.

While the Storen deal may be off the table now (as Storen has had elbow problems since last summer), the Twins could still get something good for a quality leadoff hitter and center fielder.

With the Twins lacking quality players around the ballpark, it might be best to deal Span regardless of whether or not he ever lets Revere touch his beloved center field while he's on the roster.

Span will be just one of many tough decisions the Twins will have to make in the next couple of weeks as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

It will be interesting to see what the Twins have in store, but they certainly cannot afford to have Span in center field any longer.