MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Span hoping Nationals pick up option

Club can wait until after World Series to pick up $9 million option on center fielder

Span hoping Nationals pick up option

WASHINGTON -- Nationals center fielder Denard Span is still waiting for the Nationals to pick up his option for 2015, worth $9 million. He said his agent informed him that the team could wait until after the World Series to pick up the option.

"I still haven't heard anything yet. I don't know what's going to happen to be honest with you," Span said on the telephone. "I would be surprised if it wasn't picked up. You just never know."

Span made it clear Friday afternoon that he wants to return to the Nationals. He is arguably coming off the best year his career. He led the team in batting average and set career highs in hits [184] and stolen bases [31]. Span said the Twins trading him to the Nationals in November of '12 rejuvenated his career. It allowed him to trust his abilities and feel loose on the field.

"From management all the way down to the coaching staff, the Nationals allowed me to be the player that I am," Span said. "They allowed me to have free reign, just have fun. I think I've learned a lot about myself these last two years. It's a good organization, good teammates, good clubhouse, so yeah it has been a joy these last two years, just back to having fun."

Span is considered to be one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball and hopes to win his first Gold Glove this year. In '13, he didn't make an error, but the Gold Glove went to Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez.

"Winning the Gold Glove would mean the world to me," Span said. "That would be gratifying, so satisfying. I worked hard, obviously. I've been playing center field for a while. I've been running down balls for a long time and showcasing my abilities. It would mean everything to finally get all the hard work acknowledged. It would be a dream come true."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.