Former Twins Outfielder, Denard Span, Officially Announces Retirement From MLB
Former Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals outfielder, Denard Span, has officially announced his retirement from the MLB, after 11 seasons. Span played for five different teams during his career, spending five years in the Twin Cities.
Happy retirement to @thisisdspan!— Twins Dingers (@TwinsDingers) June 9, 2020
The #MNTwins first round draft pick in 2002 slashed .284/.357/.389 in five years with the club, hitting 23 of his 71 career home runs in a Twins uniform. Span had four multi-hit playoff games with the Twins, hitting safely in all six of them. pic.twitter.com/wXJigw2ZOF
In 2002, Span was drafted 20th overall by the Twins. Six years later he made his major league debut, coming up to replace an injured Michael Cuddyer. While not providing much power at the plate (career high home runs is 12), Span made up for it with his speed and contact. In addition, he served as a plus defender, finishing as a gold glove finalist in 2013 and 2014.
After the 2018 season, Span spent one year as a free agent looking for a new home. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to find one. In an interview with mlbtraderumors.com, Span shared his frustrations on not playing.
“…I honestly recognize that I’m not the player that I was when I was in D.C. or when I was in Minnesota. But, I still know that I have value. I’m not a center fielder or premier player anymore, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help a ballclub win a championship or win games. I’m not the $12MM player anymore, but from what I did [in 2018], that doesn’t tell me I’m worth $1MM or worth $1.5MM or worth league minimum. I got an offer for league minimum. It was just unreal.”mlbtraderumors.com
Span’s most notable tenures came with the Minnesota Twins and the Washington Nationals. While in Minnesota, Span hit 23 bombas, stole 90 bases, and hit .284 with an OPS of .746.
After the 2012 season, Span was traded from Minnesota to the Nationals in exchange for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer (who only pitched 6.1 innings in a Twins uniform).
Span’s best year came with the Nationals in 2014. He finished the year 19th in National League MVP voting, with a .302 batting average, 31 stolen bases, and an OPS of .771.
After three years in DC, the outfielder bounced around the league from 2016 to 2018, spending time with the San Fransisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays, and Seattle Mariners.
While his career numbers don’t jump off the page, I was always a Denard Span fan. He was a fun player to watch. He’s no Byron Buxton, but he was a solid piece of the clubhouse for five years. Best of luck sent to Denard, as he starts his life after baseball.
Sam Sklar | Minnesota Sports Fan