Denard Span did not play last season after the Mariners declined his 2019 option, and after not receiving suitable contract offers this offseason, the 36-year-old has decided to retire.
Span discussed his decision to walk away from baseball with MLBTradeRumors.com and explained how his principles would not allow him to play for salaries far below his worth.
"I'm a man of principles, and when those principles aren't met, I can't go along with it," Span said. "I honestly recognize that I'm not the player that I was when I was in D.C. or when I was in Minnesota. But, I still know that I have value. I'm not a center fielder or premier player anymore, but that doesn't mean I can't help a ballclub win a championship or win games."
Span posted a .272/.329/.435 slash line with seven home runs, 30 RBI and six triples in his last season in Seattle. While it wasn't all that surprising to see the Mariners decline a $12 million option for 2019, the center fielder didn't think his 2018 production warranted such underwhelming offers.
"I'm not the $12 million player anymore, but from what I did [in 2018], that doesn't tell me I'm worth $1 million or worth $1.5 million or worth league minimum," he said. "I got an offer for the league minimum. It was just unreal."
Span spent three years with the Nationals from 2013-15 and hit .292 with over 420 hits and 200 runs scored. Even though he left DC to sign with the Giants, Span called his time in Washington the best three years of his career.
While Span is calling it a career, he wants everyone to know his decision to leave the game didn't have anything to do with his ability.
"At the end of the day, I want people to get that I didn't play because of principles. Point blank," he said.
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