The free agent center fielder says he fully recovered from his hip surgery and his agent Scott Boras says Span is running at full speed. Boras planned the workout so that teams won’t be apprehensive about offering a 3-4 year deal.
Previous Report – 12/17
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that free agent Denard Span will hold a workout for interested teams in early January according to his agent Scott Boras. During the Winter Meetings, Boras said that Span was running at full speed with no ill-effects from the hip surgery that ended his season.
“Leadoff hitters are in demand, they’re hard to find, and a guy who plays center field on top of it,” Boras said of his client while in Nashville. “He offers teams a very unique skill set. And I think the only thing they need to see is just the fact that he’s back at 100 percent.”
Span had an injury plagued 2015, playing in only 61 games for the Nationals. However, he was effective when healthy and batted .301 with a .365 OBP and .431 slugging in 275 plate appearances with five home runs and 22 RBI in the leadoff spot. He also stole 11 bases without being caught.
A former first-rounder, Span has a career .293 average and .760 OPS against right-handed pitching and he certainly would make a strong platoon with Juan Lagares in center field.
However, it doesn’t sound like Boras is looking for anything less than a situation where Span will continue to be an everyday center fielder.
Averaging 119 games a year, Span is a .287/.352/.395 career hitter. He has stolen 152 bases, averaging 19 a year. His best year was 2014, in which he hit .302/.355/.416 with 39 doubles, eight triples, five home runs, and 31 stolen bases. He was tied with Ben Revere for most hits in the National League with 184.
Span’s career .352 on base percentage, as well as his speed, make him a great option for the leadoff spot if he’s healthy. The Mets lacked a legitimate stolen base threat last season, and Span could give them a weapon they haven’t really had in a few years. But are they willing to give Span more than a one or two year deal?
FanGraphs projects Span to get a three year deal valued at $36 million, paying him through his age 34 season. How would you like to see the Mets approach this?