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Denard Span disappointed by trade from hometown Rays, but excited to join contending Mariners

Denard Span had a pair of hits, including a double, for the Mariners on Tuesday. (AP)

The 2018 baseball season had set up quite nicely for Denard Span.

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After a trade from the Giants to the Rays, the 34-year-old veteran was playing for his hometown team for the first time as a big leaguer. He bought a house in the Tampa area, allowing him to spend a good amount of time with his wife and newborn son. And the Rays were finding a surprising amount of success despite having little to no expectations entering the year.

Then Span was traded – to the complete opposite corner of the country.

“Honestly, when I first heard it I wasn’t thrilled,” the newest Mariners outfielder said to Danny, Dave and Moore about last Friday’s trade. “Had nothing to do with the Seattle Mariners organization or anything like that. I just was bummed out because I was home. It was just convenient seeing my wife and my newborn son, and my mom’s in Tampa, and this was the first time in 16 years where I had the opportunity to play at home.”

Don’t confuse that for a lack of excitement to join the Mariners, though.

“It was very difficult at first. First got the news, definitely caught my family and I by shock. Once if finally got a chance to sink in, I got excited just for the opportunity to come to a contending team,” he said. “… I would say it took me about a good 24 hours once it sunk in, and once I realized this great opportunity that I have to win here in Seattle, then right away I got excited and couldn’t wait to get on the plane to come here.”

Span has quickly fit in with the team. Not just on the field – he scored a run in his team debut Monday and was 2 for 5 with a double and a run Tuesday. He has found the clubhouse to be welcoming, too.

“I can already tell this clubhouse is a bunch of good guys, and my reception was very warm,” he said. “A lot of smiles, a lot of welcomes. Definitely can tell this is a close-knit ball club.

“I look forward to a fun summer.”

Hear the full interview: Denard Span on Danny, Dave and Moore