The Royals continue to be attached to seemingly every outfielder who might be available this winter who isn't ridiculously expensive. Today comes word they have "shown interest" in Nationals free agent outfielder Denard Span.
Span will be 32 before Opening Day and has eight years of Major League experience with the Twins and Nationals. He hit .301/.365/.431 with 5 HR 22 RBI in 61 games last season. He missed two months with back tightness, then missed the final month of the season after getting hip surgery. Span led the National League in hits in 2014 with 181 and has hit .300 or better in each of the past two seasons. He has 152 steals at a 79% success rate in his career and has twice led the league in triples.
Span was a five-win player in 2012 when he hit .283/.342/.395 with terrific defense in centerfield. At this point in his career, Span may be more suited for a corner outfield position. He profiles well into the Royals philosophy as a hitter with good gap power, but little home run power, who hardly ever strikes out, plays good defense, and can run the bases well. Span has the ninth-lowest strikeout rate in all of baseball over the past three seasons at 10.5%.
Span was not offered a Qualifying Offer by the Nationals and will not require giving up a draft pick to sign him. He is expected to receive a 2-3 year contract worth around $10-13 million per season.