The Nationals acquired outfielder Ben Revere in a trade last week to replace Denard Span, who left big shoes to fill when he signed with the San Francisco Giants in free agency.
Span will be missed, and no one needs to tell Revere exactly why. He was teammates with Span in Minnesota where the two shared on outfield for three seasons (2010-12) before Span was traded to the Nats and Revere to the Phillies.
Revere may be able to recreate Span's .300 average and 30 steals as a leadoff hitter, and he may find success in center field. But it won't be easy replacing the total package of Span, whom the Nats were 11 games over .500 with in 2015 and seven games under .500 without.
"I will say that I have large shoes to fill," Revere said. "He was kind of my big brother when we were both playing for the Twins."
Span is four years older than Revere and helped mentor him when he came up to the big leagues as a 22-year-old in 2010 with Minnesota.
"He definitely helped me grow up as a baseball player," Revere explained. "He really has helped prepare me has a professional athlete. Just to go out there and do what I do best. The rest will take care of itself."
Revere hasn't had much of an opportunity to talk to Span since he was traded from the Blue Jays to the Nationals. Span has been very busy both signing with and getting introduced by the Giants. He now has to move across the country and get acclimated to a new organization.
But Revere has spoken to Span in the past about the Nationals and expects to talk more with the veteran before the 2016 season begins.
"He liked it. He definitely liked the organization and the people," Revere said. "They treated him really well. He didn't have a bad thing to say about the organization and the people working in the front office. Even the fans, he said the fans are great."