The San Francisco Giants announced the signing of free agent outfielder Denard Span to a three-year deal. Jon Heyman of MLB Network first reported that the deal was close.
Alex Pavolvic of CSN Bay Area reported that Span will make $31 million in the deal, good for an average of $10.3 million per year. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Span's deal also includes incentives. The deal is still pending a physical.
The Giants have had a huge offseason thus far, extending star shortstop Brandon Crawford and signing two top free agent starting pitchers, Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto.
As of now, San Francisco spent $326 million in new contracts this offseason, $251 million of which came via free agency.
The team prioritized signing an outfielder this offseason, but it was not known of what magnitude the deal would end up being. They showed interest in many of the top outfielders, such as Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, and Justin Upton, but it appears they got their man on the second-tier market in Span.
Span will man the Giants' center field spot alongside Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence in the outfield. He will add to the top of the lineup with his good speed and on-base abilities.
The soon to be 32-year-old Span only played in 61 games for the Nationals last year, battling a torn labrum (hip). He hit .301/.365/.431 with five home runs and 22 RBIs in 275 plate appearances. He added 11 stolen bases in as many attempts. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 1.4 Wins Above Replacement.
The Orioles, Mets, and Royals (prior to re-signing Gordon) showed interest in Span at different points in the offseason.
At $10.3 million per year, the deal definitely looks like a good signing for San Francisco. This is only if he can stay on the field and produce to the level he was at prior to his hip injury. Though it does represent somewhat of a risk.
For his career, Span has hit .287/.352/.395 with 37 home runs, 55 triples, 189 doubles, and 336 RBIs in eight seasons with the Twins and Nationals. He also has a 78.8 percent stolen base success rate and has been worth 23.9 fWAR.