Wednesday’s trade that brought him from the Giants to the Rays did catch Denard Span by surprise, but it was one he welcomed since playing for his hometown team is something the Tampa native always hoped could happen. "I always thought it would be cool to play here during the latter part of my career," Span, 33, said. Span is a 10-year veteran and centerfielder by trade, and has experience playing the corner outfield spots. Where he fits in with the Rays’ youth movement is to be determined. That is, if he fits in at all. "Centerfield is spoken for here, so that’s probably not going to be it," Rays general manager Eric Neander said. "But this is a guy who does have experience playing on the corners, played them extremely well early in his career. Really good bat-to-ball skills, can be an ignitor for an offense, get on base, can do those things. Offensively it’s a different profile than some of the guys we have." The addition of Span adds depth to the Rays outfield, which could allow the team to trade Corey Dickerson this offseason. Of course, Span’s contract calls for $9 million this season and $12 million or a $4 million buyout for 2019, so Span could be the outfielder on the move. "Nothing would surprise me if I get traded or flipped or whatever the terminology is," Span said. "I guess until I show up to spring training then it will probably sink in that I’m a Ray. There are so many possibilities, but I definitely would love to put on this hometown uniform. It would be a dream come true. It was something I always imagined."
Denard Span excited to play for hometown Rays — if they keep him
Tampa Bay Times | Dec 24