The Kansas City Royals have a very specific blueprint when it comes to their roster construction and who they target in free agency. If healthy, Denard Span may be a perfect fit for their roster.
There is a certain image that comes to mind when thinking of the offensive profile for a prototypical Kansas City Royals player. That player would have solid gap power and speed, allowing them to leg out doubles and triples while stealing bases and putting pressure on opposing defenses. They would make excellent contact, continuing to put the ball into play.
Should he be healthy, that profile fits free agent outfielder Denard Span to perfection. The question, however, is whether or not Span is healthy, given that he missed time with back and abdominal injuries before missing the final month of the 2015 season with hip inflammation. According to Scott Boras, Span will be putting on a showcase after the New Year to show that he is ready to play next year.
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Should the Royals be unable to retain Alex Gordon, Span could very well be a fall back option for Dayton Moore and the front office. The Royals have already been linked to the outfielder, and even though Span has primarily been a center fielder throughout his career, he could fit in as an option either in right or left, although it has been six years since he has played at either position.
Despite the injuries, Span was productive when he was in the lineup last season. A year removed from leading the National League with 184 hits, Span produced a solid .301/.365/.431 batting line, hitting 17 doubles and stealing 11 bases in 61 games. Even with those ailments, Span’s excellent speed was still on display.
Should he be back to the player he was in 2014, when Span produced a .302/.355/.416 batting line with 31 steals and 37 doubles, he may be exactly what the Royals need atop the lineup. While he will not replicate what Gordon provided the Royals lineup, his ability to work the count and solid speed would still be a great fit.
The Kansas City Royals are in the market for outfielders. If Alex Gordon does not return, Denard Span may be an option to replace him in the Royals lineup.