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Updated: November 29th, 2012 3:35pm
Twins ship Denard Span to Nationals for top pitching prospect

Twins ship Denard Span to Nationals for top pitching prospect

by Phil Mackey
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The Minnesota Twins announced Thursday they have traded outfielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for pitching prospect Alex Meyer.

Meyer, 22, was taken with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 draft out of the University of Kentucky. In 129 career minor league innings, Meyer owns a 2.86 ERA with 139 strikeouts and only 45 walks.

According to's rankings, Meyer is the 50th best prospect overall and No. 2 prospect in the Nationals' organization. He immediately becomes the Twins' top pitching prospect, ahead of Kyle Gibson.

Meyer's fastball sits in the mid-90's range with a plus slider according to various scouting reports.

Span, 28, hit .284/.357/.389 with 23 home runs and 90 steals in 589 career games with the Twins, who selected him in the first round of the 2002 draft.

The Twins had discussions with the Nationals during the 2011 season about a possible Span-for-pitching trade, but nothing materialized. Span has been on the Nationals' radar for at least two seasons.

The Twins visit Washington for a three-game series next June.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Denard Span