Recently it came out that Mike Rizzo, GM for the Washington Nationals is listing to trade offers on Denard Span. The early buzz is that Rizzo might be trying to free up some salary room to sign a free agent splash like Jacoby Ellsbury in the MLB offseason. This is an intriguing possibility but it doesn’t seem like something that would be a good potential deal. Lucky it is very early in these rumors but if it did happen the result might be not nearly as good as Rizzo hoped.
Span and Ellsbury are pretty similar players when it comes down to screws and bolts. Ellsbury has been a little better from a numbers standpoint but not enough to warrant the hike in salary that the Nats would take on if they traded Span and signed him. The market for Ellsbury is going to be too high anyway so anyone that signs him is pretty well guaranteed to pay too much in spite of his talent. For the Nats to trade away a still promising player in Span would seem meaningless.
They should wait and see what value Span could bring at the trade deadline at the very least. It should be pointed out that there is no indication that Rizzo intends to ship Span away but if he did he would be much better served by trying to sign an outfielder that could bring more power. Some have suggested in such a situation they could shift Bryce Harper to center and sign a bigger power bat for the corner outfield. That might be a good switch if they got something good for Span. Otherwise it seems like a deal that would just double the pay to the center fielder for a minor hike in stats.