Twins, Span Agree To Long-Term Deal

The Twins and centerfielder Denard Span agreed to a five-year deal worth $16.5MM today, including a club option for a sixth year. The deal buys out both of Span's remaining pre-arbitration years, plus all three arbitration years. The option would cover his first year of free agency.

The 26-year-old Span has hit .305/.390/.422 with 41 stolen bases during his two seasons in the big leagues, a considerable improvement over his .287/.357/.358 minor league performance. UZR rates his defense as below average in center, where he'll presumably play for the life of the contract, but above average in the corners.

Minnesota will pay their leadoff hitter $750K in 2010, $1MM in 2011, $3MM in 2012, $4.75MM in 2013, and $6.5MM in 2014. The option for 2015 is worth $9MM with a $500K buyout attached. Grady Sizemore's deal may have been used as framework; he will earn $14.45MM for the same portion of his career.

Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune first reported the deal, then later added the money (both links go to Twitter). Kelsie Smith of The Pioneer Press tweeted some details. 

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