Some of Denard 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.
Span was traded to the Rays, alongside Christian Arroyo, Matt Krook and Stephen Woods, in exchange for Evan Longoria on Wednesday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Span was included in the deal in order to relieve the Giants of his salary, keeping the club under the luxury tax for the 2018 season. During this past year, Span hit .272/.329/.427 with 12 home runs, 43 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 129 contests. Although his bat hasn't declined to the degree that he isn't the same player, his defensive abilities certainly have, as the Giants were readying a move to left field for Span during this upcoming campaign. He will likely wind up splitting time with Mallex Smith out in left for the Rays, but a clearer indication of his expected playing time will come into focus by the time spring training rolls around.
Span went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and a pair of runs scored in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks. Span has been spending time batting third in the order over the past couple of weeks, but he returned to his usual spot atop the lineup with the Giants' recent leadoff hitter, Hunter Pence, getting the day off. The 33-year-old's .270/.325/.428 slash line is actually an improvement over last year's disappointing mark, and his contributions in runs (71), homers (12) and steals (11) have kept him relevant in deeper formats.
Span is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Diamondbacks, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The Giants are going with a righty-heavy lineup against Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray, so Span will be held out in favor of Gorkys Hernandez.
Span is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Dodgers, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Span went 3-for-4 with an RBI during Saturday's win over the Dodgers, but he'll be given the day off Sunday with Gorkys Hernandez manning center field and batting leadoff in his stead.
Span is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Dodgers, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. With lefty Rich Hill toeing the rubber for Los Angeles, Span will sit in favor of Gorkys Hernandez in center field, as he typically does when the Giants face a southpaw. Span has made 14 starts and totaled 74 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season, going 13-for-69 (.188 average) with four extra-base hits.