Span is in the second season of a three-year, $31MM contract with the Giants, though the backloaded nature of the contract makes the notion of moving him especially tricky. Span’s deal came with just a $3MM salary in its first year, so he’s owed $19.2MM through the completion of the 2018 campaign (including the buyout of a 2019 mutual option and one more payment on a partially deferred signing bonus, per Cot’s).
Span remains a highly productive bat, hitting .286/.337/.451 with seven homers, 22 doubles and four triples despite playing his home games in perhaps baseball’s most pitcher-friendly venue — AT&T Park. It’s worth noting, though, that nearly all of his damage has been done against right-handed pitching (.234/.290/.281 vs. lefties; .299/.350/.496 vs. righties). Beyond that, the once-premium center field defender has seen his defensive ratings slip from anywhere to below average (per Ultimate Zone Rating) to disastrous (per Defensive Runs Saved).
Unfortunately for the Giants, there’s no shortage of outfield bats available. While Span is still playing center field, his sub-par performance there could lead opposing teams to view him as more of a corner option. If that’s the case, he joins a market that’s flooded with the likes of Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Melky Cabrera, Seth Smith, Matt Joyce, Rajai Davis, Howie Kendrick, Jose Bautista and perhaps Carlos Gomez (assuming the Marlins do not reverse course and make any of their outfielders available). That’s a fair bit of options when few contending clubs are seeking outfield help in the first place, and Span is owed more money than anyone on that list.