Cincinnati Reds trade CF Billy Hamilton, C Devin Mesoraco, RHP Mike Leake, RHP Sam LeCure and RHP Daniel Corcino to the Minnesota Twins for CF Denard Span, LF Josh Willingham, IF Jamey Carroll and IF Daniel Santana.
The Reds are in win-now mode, and as exciting a prospect as Hamilton is, what is he? A shortstop in the minors, he’s being moved to center field. He has some hitting and on-base skills, but no power, and his adjustment to major league pitching may take a couple of years. As is, he needs a year in Triple-A.
Span gives the Reds the immediate help they need in center field and the top of the order, while fitting nicely into the Reds’ budget. Instead of re-signing Ryan Ludwick, a good bet to regress from his 2012 numbers, Willingham is brought in and Carroll gives the team a better spare infielder than the Miguel Cairo/Wilson Valdez disaster of 2012.
As the Twins rebuild, depth is a priority. They have several good-looking hitting prospects on the way up, but little in the way of pitching. Leake and LeCure are solid back-of the-rotation arms -- which means they’re front-of-the-rotation arms for the Twins. Corcino is a decent pitching prospect who could be ready sometime in 2013. Mesoraco’s status lost some luster in 2012, and the Reds are better off sticking with Ryan Hanigan behind the plate, so he becomes Joe Mauer insurance in Minnesota.