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. 

46 Responses to Twins, Span Agree To Long-Term Deal Leave a Reply

  1. InTheKZone 5 years ago

    As long as the money isn’t crazy, this is a good move for both sides.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      This is a fantastic move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Awesome so its 5 yrs/16.5MM with a club option to buy out that first free agent year. Sounds good to me! I think he gets 750K in 10, 1M in 11, 3m in 12, 4.75M in 13, 6.5M in 14, 9M option in 2015. This is such a good signing for the Denardster, I really think this will end up being one of the best deals in Baseball.

  2. Twins are REALLY taking care of business this offseason. 5 more years of having Denard Span leading off and holding down centerfield is very exciting news for twins fans!! Will MAUER be the ultimate extension before the season starts???

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Hopefully the additional losses that they will have due to Nathan’s absence won’t deter Mauer from signing

  3. SPANdemonium, I’m looking forward to reading your blog entry about this!!

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Here I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is really dedication to Denard and trust in his ability to anchor the leadoff spot for the Twins for obviously 5+ years to come. I’m really happy about this move and yeah, I’ll be writing about this soon!

  4. jdub220 5 years ago

    Congrats Twinkie fans. Span is one of the better leadoff hitters in the game.

  5. lukemeister 5 years ago

    Wow this is great, yeah they really are putting a lot of pieces in place for the long term

    • Guest 5 years ago

      One of the best leadoff hitters in the game. Top 5 no doubt about it!

  6. horatioalgae 5 years ago

    He is an excellent young player who is a lot of fun to watch. Good move by the Twins!

  7. Guest 5 years ago

    This is awesome!

    Denard is really one of the better good guys in the game and really has potential to build on last season’s .311 campaign. He has a little bit of pop and knows how to play the game the right way. I’m so happy that the Twins locked him up. This is one of the best days of my life!!!!!!!

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      locked him up? where was he going? they didn’t buy any free agent years lol.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        But they bought out all of his arbirtration years. This means that if he plays great over the next 5 seasons, the Twins don’t have to deal with raises or anything. He also really loves being on the Twins. This means so much to Baseball fans and Twins fans and of course, Spanny fans like myself!

        • smootsmack 5 years ago

          Well, kind of – his arbitration raises are built in.

          This signing, like Blackburn’s is likely less about Span, and more about Mauer. This gives the Twins more cost certainty over the future, allowing them to better decide precisely what they can, and can not afford when trying to lock Mauer up long-term.

  8. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    just a random question, is Span’s agent the same agent that represents Mauer? that would explain why Mauer’s agent was present at twins camp.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Spanny is represented by Joe Urbon. Mauer by Shapiro.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      Is this going to be asked every time a Twin is extended? Not sure if it was you last time though.

      Shapiro left camp a long time ago. He stayed for two days which was rare, but he visits for one day every year.

  9. Guest 5 years ago

    Also, Denard is one of the most likeable guys on the Twins. I’m sure he didn’t hesitate for a minute once they presented him with the offer.

  10. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Christensen tweets that the deal is worth $16.5MM with a club option for a sixth year at $9MM. Not a bad deal for Minnesota at all.

    If Span can work on his UZR a little, and also his CS, this deal would be even more of a steal for the Twins.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      I doubt he has peaked.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        Agreed. Players don’t usually hit their prime until age 28, so if that theory applies to Span, he has plenty of time to improve even further.

  11. This is probably one of Span’s greatest days in his entire baseball career. We are talking about a guy who lived under the shadow of Torii Hunter for years but stuck it out. It’s amazing to me that while having good but not great seasons in the minors, when span got his major league shot, his performance was such that it allowed the Twins to make the appropriate move and let Hunter go. In other words, he siezed his chance! Well guess what?? Twins now have a guy that is worthy of stepping into Hunter’s shoes defensively and has become so dynamic with his bat, that the entire league has taken notice. In the years to come, Span will be able to provide leadership to the young talented outfielders the Twins have coming up (Ben Revere & Aaron Hicks). I love this move a thousand times over!

    • Guest 5 years ago

      I completely agree. Denard is also one of the most likeable guys on all of Baseball. He is great in any position in the outfield and he just plays the game the right way. He doesn’t show anybody up. He just loves the game. And I agree, I’m sure he is dancing in the Twins clubhouse right now. I love Spanny!!!!!!!!!

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      The Twins made the appropriate move and let Hunter go? He left because the Twins couldn’t pay him his worth just like they couldn’t pay Johan.

  12. 0vercast 5 years ago

    YES!!! This guy is a total stud, the quintessential leadoff man.

    • hoagiebuchanan 5 years ago

      i agree 100%!!! 180 hits and only 34 for extra bases?? i dont watch denard everyday but i just love the art of hitting the single. attitude or not.

  13. $1519287 5 years ago

    Very good move. Even though i am a fan of a division rival. I am a big Span fan. Its a lot of fun to watch him play

  14. twins33 5 years ago

    Great deal, I think Span would have made more than 16 million over his arbitration years if we didn’t do this. At least if he continues at this pace.

    Also, more cost certainty for signing Mauer. We probably have a lot more guys who need arbitration in the next few years. The more guys who are at a fixed rate, the more we don’t have to worry about them later in terms of Mauer’s contract vs. signing other players, mostly our in-house ones.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      Wouldn’t Mauer have signed by now if he truly wanted to stay with the Twins? The Twins are obviously trying to make him happy so I think he’ll decide after the season. If they make it the postseason and get demolished in the first round again, or if they don’t even make the postseason, I see him signing with a team that can get him a ring. If the Twins however make a postseason run, I can see him signing a new contract.

      Playing for the 2011 Yankees…Joe Mauer!

  15. AndreTheGiantKiller 5 years ago

    Ok guys, seriously, he hit .287 in the minors vs .305 in the majors. If you break it down over the course of a season its an extra 10 hits. No reason to go at each others throats over a player who in reality is putting up very similar numbers to his minor league numbers. With his speed a few extra infield singles makes perfect sense. Chill out.

  16. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Story Time, kids:

    I remember being in Fort Myers in 2007. A young paratrooper on leave from Fort Bragg for a week of his hometown team. Showing up at the park every morning at 0700, I managed to snag signatures from Jack Morris and Dan Gladden. I managed to catch them heading into the dugout far before the typical hoardes of Twins fans (or the EBayers in their Yankee hats) at pulled in.

    An hour later, Denard was out in the field, doing some sprints. He came by the third baseline, and saw my Twins hat, 2006 Division Champ t-shirt, and chatted me up. I asked him if he’d ever timed his 40. He chuckled and said he runs 90 feet much quicker. I asked him what he did over the offseason, and he told me about training with Torii in Texas. He asked me what I did for a living, and he asked alot of follow-up questions about Fort Bragg.

    Literally, 10 minutes later, he was brushing off some Twins media lady who was trying to pull him aside for a television camera. The crowds had arrived, and people were swarmed around us. People were clamoring for an autograph, and Denard assured them, “Don’t worry, I’ll get to you, too”. We continued chatting about the day-to-day life of our respective professions, with great interest in one another’s, for 5 more minutes.

    Finally the media lady pulled him aside for his camera time. Then, true to his word, he returned to sign a few dozen autographs for the crowd of fans that had gathered along the third base line.

    The baseball he signed for me is proudly displayed in my mancave-Twins-shrine, front and center. In front of even Radke, Santana, Liriano, Morris, Gladden, Mauer… because Denard took a quarter of an hour to chat with a young trooper who was a clear fan. He didn’t have to, but that’s the kind of guy he is.

  17. bomberj11 5 years ago

    Dang he’s cheap. What a steal.

  18. realpseudofool 5 years ago

    I can’t wait for the UZR metric to implode when Span turns out to be a plus defender in CF at Target Field. Here’s betting all the Twins OFers magically look better in the outfield at Target than the Metrodome. Go figure that playing with a third-baggied and white-ceilinged outfield would lead to some UZR buffoonrery.

  19. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    Absolutely no stock? Seriously? A few exceptions to a very strong general rule indicates that poor minor league performance does not guarantee poor major league performance. The rule remains, though, and minor league performance remains an enormously important measure of major league potential.

    Most of the things that contribute to the success of a hitter are not measurable. If a player is failing to do these things in the minors, there’s very little reason to bring him up on the off chance that he suddenly learns to do them in the bigs. Teams out of contention can better afford such silly experiments, but it’s still not a good idea.

  20. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    Someone who adjusts well to pitchers doesn’t consistently fail to hit inferior (minor league) pitchers — or any pitchers, really. And a consistent failure or success with respect to adjustment to pitchers is reflected by at least a half-dozen statistics.

    “Like how a college football player may be the best player out of every single college player out there, but they fall flat on their face in the big time.”

    You’re still grappling with this exception to the rule thing. It’s elementary statistics, if not common sense. A majority of the time, very successful minor leaguers succeed in the majors. And more importantly, poor minor leaguers virtually always fail at the major league level.

    I don’t know what else to tell you. You are observing a hitter failing to hit mediocre pitching and asserting that the problem is that the PITCHING isn’t good enough. If there was any truth to your position, .300 hitters in the majors today would hit like .250 if they were sent to triple-A for a year.

  21. smootsmack 5 years ago

    MetsVille. in Denards case he had Lasik before his last season in the minors. And his second half splits from that season showed exactly what sort of player he could be.

    You’re correct in the sense that minor league stats dont translate directly. Wrong in the sense that they don’t translate at all. You need to put minor league stats into proper context. A 21 or 22 year old struggling at AAA isnt necessarily a bad thing. And a 26 or 27 year old raking in AAA doesn’t make them a star in the making.

    But you need to consider how a guy is hitting given how old he is and at what level he is competing. Generally speaking, if a 21 or 22 year old kid is showing consistently strong hitting abilities at A, AA, and AAA – he’s going to be a good hitter in the Majors.

    Hitting poorly at 19 in A ball, 20 at AA, or 21 at AAA though doesn’t mean they wont be a good hitter. In means they were rushed way too hard. You have to be able to look at those stats and say, “ok, if he’s post a .750 OPS at this point,” odds are that as his power and approach develop he could be a .850 guy in a few years.

  22. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    “All I am saying is that a guy who hits .350 in the minors does not translate whatsoever into a successful major leaguer.”

    Very sly, but that’s not all you have been saying. And that’s not something I have disagreed with even once. I commented when you said:

    “I put absolutely no stock in a player’s performance by numbers in the minor leagues … Everyone would agree that it is harder to hit in the majors, where he hit .305. Compared to the minors, where it is easier to hit, and he hit .287″

    One last time: it is clear to everyone (even you) that success in the minor leagues does not guarantee success in the majors. It is also clear to everyone that failure in the minor leagues does not guarantee failure in the majors.

    What you don’t seem to understand is that success in the minor leagues does very obviously imply success in the major leagues. This can be confirmed from at least two directions:

    (1) In whatever league it is achieved, successful outcomes in baseball are [almost always] consequences of (a) sufficient skillsets and (b) successful approaches. Almost no one can sustain success without both (let alone without EITHER) of these two things. All of this follows a priori from the nature of the game in question.

    (2) Historically speaking, those players who perform at a high level in the minor leagues are far likelier to perform at a high level in the majors. Similarly, those players who perform poorly in the minor leagues are far less likely to perform at a high level in the majors. (Sort of awestruck that I’m having to say this.)

    Neither busted top prospects nor late-blooming nobodies disprove any of this or even call it into question. They are predictable exceptions to strong general rules. To “put no stock in minor league numbers” is beyond ridiculous.

  23. damnitsderek 5 years ago

    People rave about Montero because his tools are off the charts and he plays a premium position. Also, he’s hitting the ball exceptionally well at AA AT TWENTY YEARS OLD. Regardless, if you’re using batting average as an evaluative tool, then you probably shouldn’t even be posting your arguments here because they’re going to get you nowhere.

  24. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    Props for your equivocation skills. Good rhetoric.

    75% of all minor leaguers fail, sure that might be close.

    But unless 75% of all minor leaguers fail IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR MINOR LEAGUE SUCCESS, however, production numbers matter and your original point is still completely wrong.

    Look into it. It’s simply not true at all that anything close to 75% of minor leaguers who tear it up ultimately fail. The “tear it up” cohort consistently experiences better outcomes and a lower fail-rate than all the others.

    Putting “no stock at all in minor league performance” remains utter nonsense.

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