Aw, hell no. That's pretty much my three-word subjective analysis of this factoid. Check out a little more after the jump, but remember Jon's game thread is directly below.
Seriously, how on God's green earth could trading Denard Span possibly turn out in the Twins' favor? Particularly when we already know that the Nationals aren't interested in dealing Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard, it's pretty obvious that basing a package around Ian Desmond is about as big of a mistake as you could ask for. And I'll be honest: understanding exactly how valuable Span is right now, Storen AND Clippard is barely a win for me. Look up their numbers. I'd certainly have to think about it. Maybe that's me being over protective of "one of our guys", or maybe I'm over valuing a good leadoff hitter and center fielder or maybe I'm undervaluing good young pitching, but that's how I see it. Ultimately I'd probably pull the trigger for Storen and Clippard, but basing a package around Desmond is a joke.
Should the Twins deal Denard, Ben Revere is the obvious replacement. But let's dispell the notion that Revere is in any way an overall superior player to Span, because he's not. Span has experience, superior plate discipline, superior contact skills, a better arm, and is a legitimate leadoff hitter. Revere is exciting, but he's not a leadoff batter and an extra ten or fifteen stolen bases in a season won't make up for the fact that his on-base percentage belongs at the bottom of the order. Without Span, there is no good leadoff batter for the Twins. Not now, and not in 2012.
Furthermore, Span's contract is team-friendly in the extreme. The Twins are due to pay him just $3 million next year, $4.75 million in 2013, $6.5 million in 2014, and in 2015 there's a $9 million option with a $500,000 buyout. Right now the Twins have, locked in, one of the game's premier center fielders for a mere $20.15 million for three of his peak seasons (ages 28-30 after this year), and then that option. Seriously people, it doesn't get a lot better than that for a leadoff hitting center fielder in his prime who does everything that's expected of him pretty well.
Looking at Washington's triple-A affiliate, there isn't a lot that stands out. Chris Marrero, Steve Lombardozzi, and Tom Milone are all of some interest, but none of them are blue chip prospects. For Span I expect you should get all three and more. Tyler Moore, the slugging first baseman at their double-A affiliate might be a better choice than Marrero. Brad Peacock, recently promoted to triple-A, interests me as a strikeout pitcher. But honestly, there's not a whole lot that makes trading Span definitely worth it to me. And if we're trading Span, it had better be for a package where you can look at it and think "Yeah, okay, Span was a good part of our future but now our future looks even brighter."
Right now, I'm hanging up on the Nationals. Obviously we may not have all the information here, so there may be something else happening that we're unaware of, but looking at the facts as we know them this is a flat out no for me.