San Francisco Giants: Why Denard Span Makes Sense for the Washington Nationals
By Jake Mastroianni
If the San Francisco Giants do decide to trade Denard Span, he could be reunited with his former team in the Washington Nationals.
I’ve made it pretty clear lately that I think Denard Span should be traded soon. He’s healthy and productive, so now is the time to sell.
The 33-year-old outfielder hit .427 in the month of June with 21 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. When’s he’s healthy and effective, that’s the kind of production Span can give your team atop the lineup.
That’s exactly the type of production the Washington Nationals had at their top of their lineup before Trea Turner and Adam Eaton got injured.
With Eaton out for the season and Turner gone for possibly two months, the Nationals need someone to replace that production.
Span obviously has a very good history with the National as he played with them from 2013 to 2015. He hit .292 with a .345 on-base-percentage in those three seasons.
The biggest problem the San Francisco Giants are going to have when trying to trade Span to any team is his contract. He’s owed around $5 million for the rest of this season, $11 million next year and then he has a $12 million team option for 2019.
That team option comes with a $4 million buyout. Assuming that option isn’t picked up, a team could potentially be on the hook for $20 million if they trade for Span.
The Nationals are in “win now” mode, so money shouldn’t be an option for them.
Plus, Jayson Werth is in the last year of his contract so they’ll need another outfielder next year any way. Werth is also another player on the disabled list for the Nationals right now.
As for the San Francisco Giants, I wouldn’t expect much in return. Especially if the Nationals are on the hook for all that money. My guess is that the Giants would get a mid-tier prospect and eat $5-6 million of what’s left on Span’s contract.
I think Span would immediately replace Eaton for this year, and make-up for the loss of Turner while he’s out. And then next year Span can either replace Werth in the outfield, or the Nationals can try to move Span in the offseason.
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Either way, the Nationals need to win now and Span gives them the bat atop their lineup that are currently missing because of injuries.