Dear Bill Smith,
First, thanks for reading! It means a lot knowing that perusal of my little blog is part of your Sunday morning routine, along with brunch, "Meet the Press," and reading the Star Tribune. So thanks for that.
Because I know I have your ears and eyes for a few minutes, I want to implore you not to trade Denard Span for Drew Storen and children of former Twins' players to be named later (CFTPTBNL). I'll enumerate things to make it easy, and perhaps you can just cut and paste some of my comments in your emails with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.
1. We already have a closer, Joe Nathan, in house. Sure, we don't want to pay him his 2012 salary of $12.5 million, but you can decline that option, pay him $2 million and then renegotiate. It will still take some money off the books, and he has performed pretty well lately. It's a possibility, anyway.
2. Glen Perkins can close next year. Admittedly, I really like the fact that he has been effective in many relief situations from the 6th inning on, and having him as the designated closer would decrease his usefulness somewhat, but it is at least an option. You want your closer to be your most "lights out" pitcher, and he has been that for the Twins this year. He would also be inexpensive.
3. A very good middle-of-the-field position player, for a young (albeit very good) closer doesn't make sense to me. As we have seen this year, the Twins need a couple things more than they need a closer right now. They need middle infield help, a better backup catching option, and deeper and better starting pitching. Sure, they also need bullpen help, but we all know that bullpen arms are relatively cheap at the deadline. If you were intent on shopping Span, he should have been part of a package a starting pitcher, a very good starting shortstop, or something else noteworthy that filled an immediate, gaping hole. Now that Matt Capps hasn't been closing games, the hole, though still somewhat present, is at least not the biggest problem with the Twins anymore.
4. Denard Span was on his way to an All-Star selection this year, he is a good guy, and, most importantly, is a very good center fielder. Ben Revere could be good someday soon. We have seen brilliant plays from him this year, though his arm is awful. And his ability, once on base, to do serious damage, is game-changing. But he is not ready, on July 31, 2011, to assume starting center field and leadoff duties for the Twins.
Mr. Smith, thanks again for reading. Just cut and paste these comments in an email to Mike Rizzo, or use them verbatim if you have to talk on the phone. You have my permission.
Andrew (Twins Fan From Afar)