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Really, the trade was Michael Morse for Denard Span*, and when you consider Span is signed through 2014 with a team option for 2015 while Morse is a free agent after this year, I think it's pretty good.
Or they could have kept him as a backup for 1B, RF, LF, and CF (Morse playing left with Harper moving to CF), and as DH vs. AL teams. His RH bat is a nice complement to the 3 lefties in LaRoche, Harper and Span.
Meanwhile, this whole Rafael Soriano thing is beginning to feel like a huge mistake.
Span's batting approach is just so impressive from what I've seen thus far this year, with such patience and such a discerning eye for the strike zone (8BB to 1K). Currently sports an on-base percentage of .484, and although that's obviously going to drop down to something more realistic I can't tell you how much fun it is as a Nats fan to see a guy who always seems to be working 7-8 pitch at-bats every time he gets up there.
Eso, your raves about Denard Span has prompted me to pick him up for my deep-roster fantasy league that counts OBP.
Backing up 3 OF gives him 36 starts minimum. With LaRoche you could go close to a full platoon, which could be another 40-50 GS. Add in 7-8 DH games, that's probably 90 starts or 400 PAs right there. In the NL, you can probably get him a PH appearance in almost every game he doesn't start, so that't another 70 PAs.
I'm waiting for Eso to break out in song: "Span! Span! Span! Span! Lovely Span! Lovely Span!"
Why? LaRoche has a career 96 wRC+ vs LHP, Morse has a 131. If you have Morse and don't platoon him with LaRoche, you're just being dumb.
In a video game, sure. In real life, Laroche doesn't resign to be a platoon player.
As far as I know, Mike Morse was under contract, and I'm suggesting he get 450-550 PAs across a number of positions. That's not a platoon player.
Adam LaRoche didn't seem to have too many serious suitors, and would likely have taken the Nats offer, even if he was going to be the strong side of a platoon. If not, stick Morse at 1B. Who cares?
Plus, he rubs the pot roast all over his chest.
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