Keiunta Denard Span
Height: 6'0" Weight: 210
Bats/Throws: Left / Left
Born: 02/27/1984 in Washington, D.C.
Offseason home: Odessa, Florida
Nickname: Spaniard, D-Span
Family: Wife Anne, son Denard James
Acquired: In trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, with Alex Colomé, for Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero (05/25/2018)
MLB Debut: 04/06/2008
Free Agent after: 2018 season
Twitter handle: @thisisdspan
The Spaniard has been terrific for the Mariners. Since coming to Seattle in a May trade with his hometown Rays, Span has hit .300+ and delivered in the clutch, whether he's in the starting lineup or comes up off the bench. His line with runners in scoring position is a solid .304/.368/.557 with 40 RBI, and in the late innings (7-9+) he's posted a .273/.387/.424 mark. Not too shabby for a literal greybeard.
He didn't want to come here—when a Rays exec told him he'd been traded to Seattle, he reportedly replied, "you couldn't find anything closer?"—but has fit in well with the team and readjusted to being on the west coast. "Every player wants to feel wanted," Span said, and perhaps that accounts for his performance on the field.
The Mariners are Span's fifth Major League team, 2018 his 11th Major League season. His post-trade stats are his best since 2014-2015 with the Nationals, and while it was expected when the trade was made that the M's would simply not exercise his option year for 2019, they'll now have to give it serious consideration. The guy's worth having around.
Off the field, Span heads up the Denard Span Foundation, which supports underprivileged single parents and their children. This summer the foundation raised over $10,000 to provide a car and auto-maintenance package to a needy single mother in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Ongoing fundraising also aids with food donations and educational scholarships. "This foundation and its inspiration comes from real and raw experiences that Denard and his mother, Wanda, had gone through themselves as a home with one parent. They use their stories to spread hope and empower others in similar situations."