The financial commitment will certainly be low for whoever signs him, and Span has already collected a $4MM buyout from the Mariners. He turns 35-years-old later this week, but the gray-bearded veteran may have more to give. The lefty batsman remained productive at the plate with the Rays and Mariners last season – a .261/.341/.419 batting line, good for 1.5 fWAR. There’s not much power in his game – but there never was – and he maintains a good approach at the plate with the ability to put the bat on the ball. He walked at a 10.2% rate last year while only striking out 15.8% of the time. The .158 ISO doesn’t make him a commodity in the corner, but a 112 wRC+ suggests there’s still a place for Span somewhere in the league.
The biggest falloff in Span’s game has come on the defensive end. He doesn’t have the speed to cover center anymore, his arm doesn’t play particularly well in right, and defensive metrics haven’t cared for his performance in left field either (-1 DRS, -4.9 UZR). He still runs okay, swiping nine bags last year, but there is certainly a limit to his usefulness.
Heyman names the Tigers, Mets, Marlins, Indians and White Sox as potential suitors. Over an 11-year career, Span has hit .281/.347/.398, numbers that actually fall below his 2018 output, while still placing him about five percent better than your average hitter throughout his career.