Denard Span
Denard Span
36-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Denard Span in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $31 million contract with the Giants in January of 2016. Traded to the Rays in December of 2017. Traded to the Mariners in May of 2018. Mariners declined $12 million team option for 2019 in October of 2018.
Stepping away from baseball
OFFree Agent  
June 9, 2020
Span confirmed Tuesday in an interview with Steve Adams of MLBTradeRumors.com that he has retired from professional baseball. "I would say, in my heart, once I didn't sign a contract going into the 2020 season, that was it for me," Span said.
ANALYSIS
The 36-year-old indicated that while he's still interested in playing, the fact that teams haven't offered him anything more than minimum-level contracts since the 2018-19 offseason prompted him to step away from the game. Span retires after parts of 11 seasons in the big leagues with the Twins, Nationals, Giants, Rays and Mariners, during which he slashed .281/.347/.398 with 71 home runs and 185 stolen bases. He finished tied for the National League lead with 184 hits in 2014 as a member of Washington and led or tied for the league lead in triples on two occasions (10 in 2009 with the Twins, 11 in 2013 with the Nationals).
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Batting Stats
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2018
2017
2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+12%
OPS vs LHP
2020
No Stats
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+12%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .830 103 10 2 18 2 .302 .388 .442
Since 2018vs Right .742 398 53 9 40 7 .251 .329 .413
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .830 103 10 2 18 2 .302 .388 .442
2018vs Right .742 398 53 9 40 7 .251 .329 .413
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+17%
OPS on Road
2020
No Stats
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+17%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .697 235 25 3 26 5 .248 .328 .369
Since 2018Away .817 266 38 8 32 4 .273 .353 .463
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home .697 235 25 3 26 5 .248 .328 .369
2018Away .817 266 38 8 32 4 .273 .353 .463
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Advanced Batting Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
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2006
2004
It's been a nice run for Span, but there's a good chance his days of 500-plus plate appearances are over. His defense declined faster than his bat as his 112 wRC+ last season was still useful, though below what's desired from a corner outfielder. Span was the American League's worst left fielder in 2018. His strikeout rate remained good, albeit a career-worst 16%. To his credit he walked at a 10.2% clip, resulting in a .341 OBP that's reasonable, but low for a poor-fielding corner outfielder. Once a threat to swipe 20-plus bases, Span managed just nine in 137 games last season. Dwindling speed, along with middling power likely relegates him to a reserve role, with most of his playing time against right-handers, though he displayed similarly poor splits against southpaws last season. Ultimately, Span's role and playing time will depend on his landing spot.
Some of Span's skills are holding steady, but his defense in center field has been a liability and the Rays are looking to deploy him in left. His bat profiles far less favorably in an outfield corner, so playing time is going to be a concern moving forward. Span still puts the ball in play consistently, as evidenced by his 12.7 percent strikeout rate last season, but the quality of the contact isn't great (25.1 percent hard-hit rate, 2.6 barrels per plate appearance) and his walk rate is on the decline (7.4 percent last season). He's posted lackluster success rates on the bases over the past two years (63 percent, 12-for-19 in both seasons), and the team context is still a negative after the trade from San Francisco. There is some peace in knowing Span won't sink your batting average, but that alone is not enough to warrant a starting spot in most mixed leagues.
It was a tale of two halves for Span in 2016. He struggled early on with his new club, batting just .248 leading up to the All-Star break, but he picked up the pace in the second half, batting .287 with seven home runs in the final 63 games of the season. Despite the strong finish, the overall results were fairly pedestrian for the Giants' leadoff hitter. Putting aside his career-high 11 home runs, Span's 70 runs and 12 steals were his lowest totals in any full season as a starter. The outfielder's decline on the basepaths was especially concerning, as his 63 percent stolen base success rate was easily the worst of his career. If the 32-year-old truly did lose a step, then his fantasy value takes a big hit considering that steals were his most attractive asset.
Span couldn't capitalize on his big 2014 campaign, as he rushed back from offseason core muscle surgery and then couldn't stay healthy for the rest of the year. The Nats ultimately shut him down at the end of August with a hip labrum tear that also required surgery. All in all he played just 61 games, and while he still posted a strong slash line, the multiple lower-body issues impacted his defense in center field when he did manage to get on the field. Span's expected to be fully recovered from the hip surgery by spring training, and the Giants seem to have few reservations about Span's health heading into his age-32 season, having inked him to a three-year deal in January. Span could prove to be a bargain for San Francisco if his legs hold up, and that may be the case in fantasy as well, as Span should start in center over Angel Pagan and could bat near the top of the order.
Span put together his best season since 2009 last year, hitting .302 with a .355 OBP while scoring 94 runs, stealing a career-high 31 bases and flashing his usual Gold Glove-caliber leather in center field. The Nationals wasted little time this offseason in picking up his option for 2015, so he'll once again be their leadoff hitter and defensive linchpin in the outfield, but don't necessarily expect a repeat performance. Span will be 31 this year, and given his age, he's just as likely to steal less than 20 bases as he is to top 30 again, and while the Nats' offense behind him should once again be potent, any regression in his batting average or OBP will likely leave him back in the 70s again in runs scored rather than pushing triple digits. As a player lacking an impact power bat, Span is typically underrated in fantasy leagues, but this might be the one time he's actually overrated at your draft table, especially in the wake of offseason hernia surgery, followed by a core muscle repair procedure in March. As a result of the latter operation, Span is expected to be sidelined until May.
Span did his thing in his first season with the Nationals, hitting for a solid average, stealing some bases and playing great defense in center field, but there is still room for growth. The 12.2 percent walk rate he turned in as a rookie, for instance, would look a lot better at the top of the order than last season's career-low 6.3 walk percentage. Maybe the new coaching staff in Washington can help him regain his plate discipline, because without it Span seems destined to remain one of those players who is always viewed as a placeholder rather than a key piece of the puzzle.
Span will be the starting center fielder and leadoff hitter for the Nationals after he was traded from Minnesota in the offseason. Span bounced back last season after playing just 70 games in 2011 due to a concussion, displaying his usual strong on-base skills and defense. He draws walks at a good clip (eight percent of plate appearances) and has a strong contact rate that should result in a helpful batting average. Span needs to show he can stay healthy, however, as he missed a month last season with a shoulder injury (a sprained SC joint). He also helps fantasy owners with speed on the basepaths (17 steals) and could score 100 runs with his on-base skills and place as the tablesetter in Washington's lineup, increasing his overall value.
Span looked on track to bounce back from a disappointing 2010 season before his year was ruined due to injury. He was hitting .300/.367/.392 before suffering a concussion on June 3. He tried to stay in the lineup, but had a setback and played just 14 games after June 6. He did return for the last week of September and finished the season without any issues and reports on his health have been good in the offseason. It sounds like he'll be ready for the start of spring training. Before the concussion, it looked like he was back to drawing walks at the high rate he had before 2010 and his slugging percentage was close to the .400 level that's likely needed to maintain a starting job. When healthy, Span has a good eye at the plate and a high contact rate while offering speed on the bases. If healthy, he'll return as Minnesota's starting center fielder.
Span disappointed at the plate last season in his first full season as Minnesota's center fielder after rotating outfield positions the previous two years. In Span's first two seasons he showed a strong ability to get on base, but hit just .264 with a .331 OBP last season. He also saw a dramatic drop in power as he slugged just .348. While he drew fewer walks last season, he still had a good eye at the plate by walking nine percent of the time and had a good contact rate (60:74 K:BB rate). He also may have been a victim of bad luck with a BABIP (.295) well below his career average. And he did play with a sore shoulder after June. He improved his proficiency on the basepaths (20-of-30 in stolen base attempts, though he was picked off nine times), and his speed boosts his fantasy value. He also has upside in the runs category since he'll hit leadoff again ahead of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Several defensive metrics showed Span held his own in center field, but opinions were mixed on his range. He'll begin the season as Minnesota's starting center fielder, and there are reasons to believe he's a bounce-back candidate, but his defense and power are not strong enough for him to keep his starting job if his ability to get on base doesn't return to 2009 levels.
Span showed his unexpected rookie success was no fluke and he enters 2010 as Minnesota's starting center fielder after the trade of Carlos Gomez to Milwaukee. Span has shown strong plate discipline (70:89 K:BB rate) and a good contact rate in the majors that's likely to continue to result in a .300 batting average. He also helps fantasy owners with speed on basepaths (23 steals) and could score 100 runs with his on-base skills and batting ahead of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Span rotated among all three outfield positions last season, but will take over everyday duty in center field in 2010. Some defensive metrics showed he was a below average center fielder, but he was above average in the Metrodome's expansive left field and has the speed and instincts to perform well in center field. Either way, he'll be a much needed source of OBP as Minnesota's leadoff hitter and could help fantasy owners in four or five major categories.
Span established himself as an everyday outfielder and leadoff hitter last year in a surprise breakout season. Span showed little power or plate discipline in the minors, failing to slug over .355 at Double-A or Triple-A. Span completely turned his game around once the Twins told him getting on base was the key to winning a job in spring training. Span started to take more pitches and became a walk machine, first at Triple-A and then when called up when Michael Cuddyer got hurt. The only question for 2009 is where he'll play. The Twins have four spots for five regular players between the outfield and DH with Cuddyer expected back from injury. He could start in right field again or also split time at DH or center field. Either way, if he continues to defy his minor league track record, he could develop into a fantasy star with strong plate discipline and good speed on the bases.
The 20th overall pick in 2002 was once thought to be the heir to Torii Hunter. His defense has lived up to the billing, but his bat indicates he'll be nothing more than a reserve outfielder in the majors. He hasn't slugged over .355 at Double-A or Triple-A the last two seasons, which shows he'd have a hard time staying in a major league lineup. His speed would make him valuable as a reserve if he does get called up at some point in 2008.
Span may be the best athlete and defensive outfielder in the Minnesota system, but his development at the plate stalled last season with a slugging average of just .349. He's been called the heir to Torii Hunter in center field, but that now looks questionable. If the toolsy 20th overall pick in 2002 is going to make an impact in the majors, he'll need to rebound in 2007 with a big season and make the jump to Triple-A.
Span had a breakout season in 2005 that had him quickly climb the list of the best hitting prospects in the Minnesota organization. The toolsy 20th overall pick in 2002 showed his strong second half in 2004 signaled a turnaround to his career. He gets on base at a good rate, plays strong defense and has speed, but needs to reduce his caught stealings to become a base stealer at the major league level. A strong 2006 season could make him a factor with the big league club in 2007. Some are calling him Torii Hunter's eventual replacement in centerfield, but we wouldn't go that far yet.
Span, Minnesota's 2002 first-round draft pick, hit .273/.343/.319 with 34 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in 50 games for the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian Rookie League. He's Minnesota's leadoff hitter of the future but is several years away.
More Fantasy News
No deal imminent
OFFree Agent  
March 5, 2019
Span remains without close links to a team, David Schoenfield of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
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Mariners decline 2019 option
OFFree Agent  
October 30, 2018
Span had his $12 million mutual option for 2019 declined by the Mariners and will become a free agent, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
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Gets breather Friday
OFSeattle Mariners  
September 28, 2018
Span is not included in Friday's starting lineup against Texas, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
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Takes seat Thursday
OFSeattle Mariners  
September 27, 2018
Span is not in the lineup Thursday against the Rangers, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
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Clutch two-bagger in win
OFSeattle Mariners  
September 26, 2018
Span entered an extra-innings win over the Athletics on Tuesday as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and went 2-for-3 with a two-run double and another two-bagger.
ANALYSIS
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