At various times this week, it seemed like the San Francisco Giants might be the next team to pick up an outfielder, but it’s not one of the guys who most frequently popped up in Giants rumors.
Today, the Giants signed Denard Span to a three-year, $31 million deal, plus $5 million in incentives. It’s the multi-year deal the soon-to-be 32-year-old outfielder was hoping to get, even after coming off of hip surgery last year, and it seems like a fairly reasonable risk for the Giants. If Span resembles his former self for 125ish games per year, he’s probably worth a heck of a lot more than his contract. If he’s not able to be what he once was, then it’s not a huge amount of money risked.
Having spent big in the rotation already (Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto), the Giants needed to address the potential flaws in their outfield. Span could do that, and could potentially do it very well.
There’s no way around it – this is a good signing for the Giants.
The NL West becomes increasingly competitive, and whichever two of the Giants, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks that do not win the division will likely factor heavily into the Wild Card race.
The Cubs were connected to Span at one time, but, with Jason Heyward in the fold, it became very unlikely that the Cubs were going to add a center fielder on a separate deal, and almost assuredly not on this kind of contract. If things go totally sideways and Dexter Fowler has to settle for a bargain two-year contract? Then maybe. Otherwise, I still think the Cubs will be considering complementary outfielders who can play good center field defense and hit from the right side.