San Francisco, Calif. -- The San Francisco Giants have signed free agent outfielder Denard Span to a three-year contract through 2018, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans announced today. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
Span is a career .287 hitter with 567 runs scored, 189 doubles, 55 triples, 37 home runs, 336 RBI and 152 stolen bases in 950 games with Minnesota (2008-2012) and Washington (2013-15). Despite his third season with the Nationals being cut short in 2015, he batted .301 (74-for-246) with 17 doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI in 61 games. Of MLB players with at least 10 stolen base attempts last season, only Span (11-for-11) and the Giants' Matt Duffy (12-for-12) were perfect.
The 31-year-old sparked the Nationals' potent lineup from the top spot in 2014, hitting .302 with a .355 on-base percentage while posting a career-high 52 extra base hits and stealing a career-best 31 bases. He ranked among NL leaders in multi-hit games (1st, 58), hits (T1st, 184), doubles (T4th, 39), triples (T7th, eight), stolen bases (5th, 31), runs scored (T5th, 94) and batting average (6th, .302). In 2013 he appeared in a career-high 153 games while leading the Majors in triples (11) and becoming a Gold Glove finalist in his first season with the Nationals.
The Washington, D.C. native has been an elite defender throughout his eight-year Major League career, being named (along with several other outfielders) the 2012 and 2013 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year. Span offers strong defensive range and advanced instincts, ranking third among all outfielders since 2008 in putouts per 9.0 innings (2.67) and fourth in range factor per 9.0 innings (2.71).
Span has also been difficult to strike out, averaging 9.34 plate appearances per strikeout the last five seasons, which ranks as the fourth-best figure among big league outfielders.