Giants sign outfielder Denard Span to a three-year, $31 million contract

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UPDATE: Span passed his physical, so the deal is now official. According to Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com, the contract includes a mutual option for a fourth year.

7:00 p.m. ET: MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Span could earn another $5 million with incentives, which means that the deal would max out at $36 million.

5:51 p.m. ET: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said earlier today that the club only had a “remote” chance of bringing back free agent outfielder Denard Span. Now we know why. Per Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com, the Giants just announced that they have signed Span to a three-year contract, pending a physical.

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the deal is worth $31 million while FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that there are some additional incentives. It’s a pretty nice deal for Span given that he’s coming off hip surgery and turns 32 in February, but the Giants are willing to take on the risk. That he’s not tied to draft pick compensation likely made the decision a little easier.

Span was excellent when healthy last season, batting .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, and 11 stolen bases over 61 games. In 2014, he led the National League in hits while batting .302 with a .355 on-base percentage. He’s a proven contact hitter with good plate discipline, so he fits in well with this lineup. Span figures to take over leadoff and center field duties for San Francisco while Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco will share playing time in left field.

With the offseason additions of Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and now Span, the Giants are making a strong push for some “even-year magic” once again.