Saturday morning, the Minnesota Twins announced that they have extended CF Denard Span to a 5 year deal with a 6 year club option. This deal will buy up all of Denard's arbitration years for about $16.5 million dollars and first year of free agency for possibly $9 million dollars.
The way the deal breaks down goes like this:
2011: $1 million
2012: $3 million
2013: $4.75 million
2014: $6.5 million
2015: Club option for $9 million ($500,000 buyout)
Span has established himself as one of the better lead off hitters and center fielders in the American League. After being drafted 20th overall in 2002, Span has had the 2 best years of his career in 2008 and 2009 at the major league level. He just turned 26 in February and will be under contract as he enters his prime. In 2009 Span was great with a .311/.392/.411 line along with 23 stolen bases and an AL leading 10 triples.
Since the approval to break ground on Target Field, the Twins have been able to lock up now 6 of their core players including 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Nathan, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and this morning Denard Span. Of the six names 5 of these guys were drafted by the Twins and 4 of them in the first three rounds.
Again he Twins are showing over and over throughout this off season that they are committed to winning by locking up internal stars (Blackburn and Span), making trades (Hardy), free agent signings (Condrey, Thome and Hudson) and the eventual resigning of all world catcher Joe Mauer.