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Does Span trade open some doors for the Sox?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 29, 2012 09:49 PM

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The Minnesota Twins traded center fielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals earlier today for righthander Alex Meyer, a well-regarded prospect.

The Nats will have an outfield of Span, Bryce Harper, and Jayson Werth.

Here's where the Red Sox could come in.

Mike Morse, who started 92 games in the outfield for the Nationals last season, could shift to first base. The Nationals say they are still interested in retaining free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche. But now they have some flexibility and can negotiate with improved leverage.

The Nats want to give LaRoche, 33, no more than a two-year deal.

The Red Sox could view LaRoche as a fallback option should they fail to sign Mike Napoli. LaRoche is coming off a career year and is by far a better first baseman than Napoli. You could, in fact, make a case that LaRoche should be their first option.

Signing LaRoche would come at the cost of a draft pick, however, as he was tendered a qualifying offer from the Nats. The Sox' first-round pick, No. 7 overall, is protected. But the Sox would prefer not to lose their second-round pick as it will be fairly high in the draft.

In other hot stove chatter:

The non-tender deadline is Friday at midnight. There is speculation that the Giants will non-tender closer Brian Wilson, who is coming off his second Tommy John surgery.

Because Wilson is from New Hampshire, the Sox might seem like a fit. But Wilson went to LSU before he signed with the Giants and now lives in southern California. His ties to New Hampshire are not what they once were. Indications are he could return to the Giants as a free agent or go to the Dodgers.

The estimable Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote that the Red Sox are pursuing both Cody Ross and Nick Swisher and would sign both if able.

If so, was Jonny Gomes signed to be a $5 million a year backup? That seems unlikely.

Speaking of Mr. Gomes, the Red Sox have yet to actually announce they signed him. He came to terms back on Nov. 21. The Sox have a full 40-man roster and may be waiting to make the deal official so they can first make another move.

Russell Martin signed with the Pirates tonight and now the Yankees need a catcher. The catching-rich Red Sox surely won't help them. The last deal between the rivals was 1997.

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