Nationals Trade for Denard Span

Eliot J. Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Denard Span is now a member of the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals acquired the 28-year-old outfielder from the Minnesota Twins, in exchange for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer, Thursday.

“His skill set is something that we were looking for, we’ve been looking for for a couple years,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We’re talking about a true defensive ball hawk, center field type of guy with great range. Sabermetrically and with the scout’s eye, he’s a front line defensive center field. He’s the consummate leadoff-type of hitter. He appeals greatly to us for his skill set as an offensive player.”

Over his five major league seasons, Span has a .284 average, scored 360 runs and posted an on-base percentage of .357. He is expected to hit leadoff for Washington.

I believe I'm a grinder. I try to bring my 'A' game every night," Span said. "I'm definitely going to bring a lot of range in the outfield. I love to go get it. I thrive to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game....I love to start the game, taking pitches and... try to set the tone."

Span is entering the fourth year of a $16.5 million, five-year contract, that also has a $9 million club option for a sixth year. He joins an outfield that already boasts the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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