CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Twins announced today that they have signed centerfielder Denard Span to a 5-year, $16.5 million contract. The deal also includes a $9 million club option for 2015.
Span took over the centerfield position from Carlos Gomez last season, and proved to be a valuable leadoff hitter for the Twins in 2009. He finished ninth in the American League in batting and his 54 multi-hit games were 10th most among American League players.
The Twins traveled to Clearwater today and lost to the Phillies, 5-4. Carl Pavano struck out two in his 3.0 innings of work, without allowing a hit. Nick Blackburn allowed one run on one hit, with two walks, in his two innings. Jose Mijares took the loss, yielding a three-run homer to Cody Ransom in the seventh inning, with the Twins leading 4-2.
Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-3 with an RBI single and Span was also 2-for-3. Wilson Ramos, who is battling for the backup catcher position, had a run-scoring double in the sixth inning.
The Twins will host the Red Sox Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT. Kevin Slowey will start for the Twins against Josh Beckett of the Red Sox.