San Francisco Giants: How They Can Contend in 2016

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Sign Denard Span to Play Left Field and Center Field

Jul 1, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span (2) hits an RBI single as Atlanta Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski (15) is shown on the play in the seventh inning of their game at Turner Field. The Braves won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

What do Denard Span and the 2015 Giants ball club have in common? Injuries. Injuries controlled Span’s season as he appeared in only 61 games for the Nationals in 2015. It wasn’t what the Nationals were hoping for. They were a team who could have used a true lead off hitter and to bump the NL MVP Bryce Harper‘s stats even more.

In 2014, Span was playing out of his mind — just admire the numbers he posted:

.302 BA, 94 runs scored, 184 hits, 39 doubles, 8 triples, 31 stolen bases, and 65 strike outs in 610 at-bats.

Those are all-star numbers. But a poor 2015 season cast a shadow over the success he has had.

The injuries he sustained this past season should drop the value of the contract down some, and Span will be 32 going into 2016. With his injury history as well as his age, the length of the contract he receives should not be too long. A Pagan-like contract is very much possible as both were around the same age at the time they were free agents.

Span has no problem playing all three outfield positions that he has played between the Minnesota Twins and the Nationals. Pagan does not have that flexibility in left field like Span, so center field could be split between Blanco and Pagan.

Bringing in Span will almost make it seem like the Giants did not lose Aoki. Minimal strike outs and a knack for getting on base is Span’s forte. And he has well above average defense at all three positions.

Signing Span would be wise to solidify the top of the order and provide defense in a pitcher’s park.

Next: Johnny Cueto