San Francisco Giants Sign Denard Span

The Giants signed Denard Span today for three years and $31 million, plus another $5M in incentives.  Span will be 32 in 2016.

I like Span well enough, he’s a good player, but I’m surprised the Giants went in this direction since Span seems to be pretty much the same player as Nori Aoki, who the Giants let go rather than pay less than 20% of the guarantee now committed to Span.

Both Span and Aoki are left-handed hitting get-on-base types who run well but don’t hit with much pop — their career on-base percentages are .001 apart, and their career OPS are .007 apart.  Both are plus defensive left-fielders.  Span can play center, which is an advantage, although Span’s center field defense is minus.

Also in Span’s defense are the facts that he’s two years younger than Aoki and fangraphs values Span as clearly more valuable than Aoki, who fangraphs thinks is a bargain at $5.5 million a year.

Signing Span certainly does not answer the need for more right-handed hitting pop out of the left field position.

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