San Francisco Giants:Giants Sign Denard Span
By Gary Oversen
In a move that solidifies the outfield, the San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms with outfielder Denard Span on a 3-year deal pending a physical.
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With the team having already taken care of the holes in the rotation by adding Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto, the team was seeking an outfielder who would be versatile enough to play either left or center field. And Denard Span turned out to be that guy.
Signing Span to a 3-year $31 million deal, the Giants have acquired a quality outfielder, who will likely continue playing center in San Francisco. This will move Angel Pagan to left and move Gregor Blanco back to his more valuable role as a fourth outfielder.
Span wouldn’t even be on the market if it weren’t for his recent injury history. He played in just 61 games last season, hitting .301 with 11 stolen bases Andy 365 on base percentage in just 246 at bats.
The year before, span hit 302 in 147 games and managed 31 stolen bases. It is likely that span will become the leadoff hitter for the Giants. Which could increase the value of Pagan, as he will likely be hitting lower in the order. That gives him the chance to drive in more runs, and he won’t be counted on to steal as many bases as he is out of the leadoff spot.
Span is a very strong defensive center fielder who, if completely healthy, will be able to cut off a lot of balls in triples alley.
Span has had three surgeries in the last year. But the team has done their homework, and seems satisfied with his recovery.
The fact that Pagan is a free agent following the upcoming season made it essential that the team got a center fielder now. Next year’s free agent crop is not as deep. Therefore the team was proactive, and with ideal far less than that of Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton, the team can still add more talent in the future if they need to.
The signing of Span comes shortly following Alex Gordon signing with the Kansas City Royals. This would lead to speculation that the team was never too serious about going after one of the power hitting left fielders who were not as versatile as Span. This line of thinking goes along with the notion that AT&T Park is not conducive to power hitters, and pitching, defense, and speed play better there.
One would assume that this will finish the offseason shopping for the San Francisco Giants. However, there are a few minor tweaks that can be made including the assessment of Tim Lincecum later on this month at his showcase, and a possible Reserve infielder if 15 is not 100% comfortable with Kelby Tomlinson taking over for Joaquin Arias.
Suffice it to say, the San Francisco Giants were able to get the pieces that they were seeking for a price that they were willing to spend. And they were also able to keep their quality prospects for future assets and/or roster fillers.
The signing was first reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.