SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — After addressing their holes in the pitching rotation early in free agency, the San Francisco Giants filled their biggest remaining need Thursday.
The Giants agreed on a $31 million, three-year deal with free-agent outfielder Denard Span, pending a physical, giving them the center fielder and leadoff they had sought.
If Span passes the physical he will be officially introduced at a news conference on Friday.
It has been a pricey offseason for the Giants, who missed the playoffs last year after winning their third World Series title in five seasons in 2014. San Francisco signed right-handers Johnny Cueto to a $130 million, six-year contract and Jeff Samardzija to a $90 million, five-year contract to bolster the pitching staff behind ace Madison Bumgarner.
The team also signed shortstop Brandon Crawford to a $75 million, six-year contract extension, raising the offseason tab to $326 million for the four players who will solidify the team up the middle.
Span, who will turn 32 next month, batted .301 with five homers, 22 RBIs and a .365 on-base percentage in 61 games last season with Washington. He missed time with injuries to his back, left hip and right core but is expected to be healthy again to start this season.
In an eight-year career with Washington and Minnesota, has a .287 career average, with a .352 on-base percentage and .395 slugging percentage. He also has 152 career stolen bases and is a contact hitter who fits the Giants’ style of play.
Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan split time in the leadoff spot last year for the Giants. San Francisco declined a $5.5 million option to keep Aoki and was looking to upgrade from Pagan, who had a .310 on-base percentage last season and has been limited by injuries the past three years.
Pagan could move from center field to left field to make room for Span this year.
Span can earn additional money in performance bonuses.