Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/29/12
MINNEAPOLIS Outfielder Denard Span had been rumored several times as a possible trading chip for the Minnesota Twins. On Thursday, the club finally dealt him. The Twins traded Span to the Washington Nationals in exchange for 22-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Alex Meyer. A first-round pick of the Nationals in 2011, Meyer reached High-A Potomac last season. Between two different minor league levels, the 6-foot-9 Meyer was 10-6 with a 2.86 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 25 starts. Span, 28, made his major league debut with Minnesota in 2008 and has been a mainstay in the Twins outfield ever since. His 2011 season was cut shot due to a concussion, but he played 128 games in 2012 and batted .283 with a .342 on-base percentage as Minnesotas leadoff hitter. Part of what made Span such a valuable trade chip was not only his production on the field but also his team-friendly contract. Span is due 4.75 million next season and 6.5 million in 2014. There is a 9 million club option for 2015, with a 500,000 buyout. Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan said earlier this month that acquiring pitching particularly starting pitching would be the club's top priority this offseason. While Meyer likely won't pitch in the majors for a few years, he gives Minnesota some pitching depth in the minor league system. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
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