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.
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).
Span remains without close links to a team, David Schoenfield of ESPN reports.
Span is now 35 years old, but he can still help a team. He's managed an above-average batting line in four of the past five seasons and hit a solid .261/.341/.419 for the Rays and Mariners last season. He could help fantasy owners in deep leagues with a respectable batting average, and he's not a total zero in either speed or power, though he hasn't had more than 12 homers or steals in any of the last four seasons. At this point in the offseason, it's hard to see him signing somewhere in a starting role.
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.
The Mariners opted to pony up for the $4 million buyout instead, sending Span into free agency. The 34-year-old slashed .272/.329/.435 with seven home runs in 94 games after being traded to Seattle from Tampa Bay while serving in a platoon role in left field. The veteran outfielder shouldn't garner much long-term interest but is likely to find a home somewhere, possibly on a minor-league deal.
Span is not included in Friday's starting lineup against Texas, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Span will get the night off with Wade LeBlanc slated to take the hill for the visiting Rangers. Cameron Maybin draws the start in left field and will bat eighth.
Span is not in the lineup Thursday against the Rangers, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
The lefty-swinging Span will get what appears to be a rare day off against a right-handed starter (Ariel Jurado). Utility man Kris Negron will start in left field and hit ninth in his stead.
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.
Span hit for Guillermo Heredia in the sixth and fouled out in his first at-bat, but he subsequently laced a two-run double in the eighth to cut the Mariners' deficit down to 8-7. The veteran outfielder added another double in the 10th, making it his first multi-hit effort since Sept. 5. It's been a tough month for Span offensively, as he's still hitting just .192 even after Tuesday's showing.
Span is not in the lineup Tuesday against the A's.
As per usual, Span will retreat to the bench with a southpaw in Brett Anderson toeing the rubber for the opposition. Guillermo Heredia will cover left field and hit eighth in his stead.
Span is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Rangers, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
Left-hander Martin Perez will take the mound for Texas, sending Span to the bench for the second straight game. Cameron Maybin will start in left field and bat sixth in his absence Sunday.
Span isn't in Saturday's starting lineup against Texas, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
Span is slated for a day off with lefty Mike Minor drawing the start for the Rangers. Guillermo Heredia will man left field and bat ninth in Span's absence.
Span is on the bench against lefty Dallas Keuchel and the Astros on Wednesday, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
Span remains in his strict platoon role. Guillermo Heredia will start in left field in his place.
Span is out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the Angels, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Left-hander Andrew Heaney is set to take the ball for the Angels, sending Span to the bench. Cameron Maybin will start in left field as Span remains in a strict platoon role.
Span will head to the bench against left-hander Joey Lucchesi and the Padres on Wednesday, TJ Cotterill of The Tacoma News Tribune reports.
Span has been in a strict platoon role since the start of August. Kristopher Negron will get the start in left field in his absence.
Span is not in the lineup Sunday against the Yankees, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
With lefty CC Sabathia taking the mound for New York, Span will retreat to the bench. Cameron Maybin will replace him in left field for the afternoon.
Span went 3-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base in Wednesday's win over the Orioles.
Span delivered the tie-breaking home run in the fifth inning, then later provided an insurance run with an RBI single in the seventh. The 34-year-old had a productive August, hitting .286 in the month, and is now slashing a respectable .277/.353/.449 on the year to go along with 11 homers and eight steals.
Span will hit the bench Monday against the Orioles, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
As usual, Span will be out of a lineup with a lefty (Josh Rogers) on the mound. Cameron Maybin will handle left field in his absence.
Span went 1-for-5 with a triple and a run in a win over the Athletics on Thursday.
The veteran has now rapped out seven three-baggers on the season, three of which have come in a productive August. Span is hitting .301 during the month with one game remaining, following a similarly impressive July (.313 average). He should continue drawing the majority of starts in left field down the stretch and retains an outside chance of reaching or eclipsing the career-high 68 RBI he compiled back in his sophomore 2009 campaign.
Span is not in the lineup Wednesday against lefty Joey Lucchesi and the Padres, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
Span has started against every righty and sat against every lefty over the past month. Mitch Haniger will slide over to left field with Cameron Maybin starting in center.
Span went 2-for-2 with a solo home run Saturday against the Diamondbacks.
Span was originally relegated to the bench with southpaw Robbie Ray on the mound. However, he entered the game in the eighth inning and managed to smack his 10th home run of the season in the 10th inning off southpaw Jake Diekman. Span doesn't provide much in terms of counting stats but is batting a respectable .281/.358/.451 over 359 at-bats this season.
Span is out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
Span heads to the bench with left-hander Robbie Ray taking the mound for the Diamondbacks, despite the fact his .288/.362/.400 slash line against lefties is comparable to his .277/.355/.440 season slash line. Mitch Haniger slides over to left field as Dee Gordon starts in center field, as the Mariners are likely to continue to shuffle their lineup to get everyone regular at-bats.
Span went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, a double and a walk in a win over the Astros on Monday.
Span is in the midst of his second consecutive stellar month, as Monday's production pushed his August average to .319. The veteran outfielder continues to log the majority of the starts in left field. His solid .277/.356/.442 season line is partly comprised of a well-balanced array of 33 extra-base hits (18 doubles, six triples, nine home runs).
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2011||AAA-Rochester Red Wings||10||39||4||8||1||0||0||2||--||5||3||0||.205||.205||.231|
|2017||AFA-San Jose Giants||2||6||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||--||0||0||.333||.429||.333|