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Denard Span says goodbye to Washington Nationals fans

Acquired in a November 2012 trade that sent pitching prospect Alex Meyer to the Minnesota Twins, Denard Span was all that the Washington Nationals thought he would be during his time in D.C. Span signed a three-year deal with the San Francisco Giants last night.

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Denard Span worked hard to get back into the Nats' lineup in late August, hoping to make a difference as the Washington Nationals' 2015 battled to stay alive in the NL East.

After just two games, however, in which he was 2 for 9, lifting his line on the year to .301/.365/.431 in 61 games and 275 plate appearances, he shut it down.

He didn't think his season would end when it did, and as he acknowledged at the time, it took a little while to accept the fact that he might have played his final game in a Nats uniform.

"I didn't think that it was going to be my last game," Span said, as quoted by reporters including CSN Mid-Atlantic's Chase Hughes.

"I didn't have time to process that because I had so much other stuff going on," he explained.

Span played three seasons in D.C. following the November 2012 trade that brought him to the Nationals from the Minnesota Twins.

The reaction he got from fans who realized he might have played his last game for the Nats meant a lot to the outfielder.

"The last couple of days it has been entering my mind," he said. "Just seeing everybody's well wishes and seeing people on Twitter appreciating me for what I brought to this organization on and off the field."

"It has made me sad because I've enjoyed my three years here," Span continued:

"I feel like coming here really resurrected my career. Coming from Minnesota, this trade was probably the best thing for me at the time. I've learned a lot here from the coaching staff and my teammates. It's just been a good time here."

While Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo held open the possibility of Span returning for a fourth season in Washington in recent weeks, the 31-year-old center fielder's time in the nation's capital came to an end last night when he signed what is reportedly a 3-year/$31M deal with the San Francisco Giants.

Span took some time to let it all sink in, then this morning took to Twitter to thank Nationals fans for their support over the last three seasons:

Span posted a combined .292/.345/.404 line with 84 doubles, 19 triples and 14 home runs in 361 games and 1,605 plate appearances during his three seasons with the Nationals.

Span meme