Evan Longoria traded by Tampa Bay Rays to San Francisco Giants
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Dec 21, 2017,
Dec 21, 2017, 0:39
But they doubled down on their win-now philosophy on Wednesday, acquiring three-time all-star third baseman Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the return package going to the Rays features infield prospect Christian Arroyo, center fielder Denard Span and pitching prospects Matt Krook and Stephen Woods. Instead of starting Spring Training with an inexperienced Christian Arroyo and an underwhelming Pablo Sandoval battling for the job, San Francisco now has a player who has hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons and a three-time Gold Glove Award victor manning the hot corner.
The position had been a priority for San Francisco, and Longoria's durability means so much, too.
"Evan is our greatest Ray".
The Giants finished last in the NL West this past season while the Rays finished third in the AL East.
In 2017, Longoria won his third career Gold Glove award with the Rays. While Longoria is a clear upgrade and is still capable of being a highly productive player, still, one has to wonder why they didn't inquire more into Todd Frazier, maybe Frazier is set on remaining on the east coast, in that case, this was a great move. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as the third overall pick in 2006 and played two years in the minors before making his Major League Baseball debut in 2008.
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Evan Longoria has played 200 more games than anyone else who has worn the uniform of Tampa Bay's major league team. He would cash in after the 2012 season by signing a $100 million extension that didn't kick in until 2017, but playing at what amounted to far below market value for almost a decade ensured his continued presence at the Trop. He was instrumental to the success the team saw over the past decade, but a team without resources to add and clearly behind the Yankees and Red Sox retreat into rebuild mode and bid farewell to one of the best. He is expected to fill a significant void for San Francisco at third, where the Giants mixed and matched during a surprising last-place season in 2017.
Unlike other teams that might have gone in the opposite direction, the Giants' response to last season's bottoming-out has been to think big for 2018.
Span gets $9 million plus possible performance bonuses next year, and the Rays inherit a $12 million mutual option for 2019 with a $4 million buyout.
The Giants have been looking for right handed power and an everyday third baseman since the off-season began.
It was not just the Giants who were reportedly paying close attention to Longoria.