Giants Finally Make Splash by Acquiring Evan Longoria from Rays

Beth Cruz
December 21, 2017

For the first 10 years of the team's existence, the Devil Rays went 645-972 (.399), never sniffing the playoffs. His best three seasons happened to be his first three in MLB as he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2008 and was named to the American League All-Star team in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

The trade of Span increases the chances that Hunter Pence remains with the Giants next season, however the team has had some discussions with Jay Bruce. Longoria's still-strong defense (+11 Defensive Runs Saved and his third Gold Glove) kept his WAR respectable at 3.6, but that kind of offensive slide is worrisome for a player well into his 30s.

The Giants have struggled to find a suitable everyday third baseman in recent years, and now bring in a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award victor in Longoria.

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter), the Tampa Bay Rays have traded the face of the franchise Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants.

It is the end of an era in Tampa Bay. He would bring a potentially franchise-altering haul back in prospects if the Rays decide to move him, and could easily shift the balance of power for whichever contender-the Dodgers, Brewers, and Yankees immediately jump to mind-could land him.

Trading for Longoria also makes a large dent in the Giants' future payroll, as he's signed through the 2022 season and will make upward of $18 million in 2021 before commanding $19.5 million in 2022. Aside from being the star of every marketing campaign, he opened a sports bar in Tampa in 2013 that has since added satellite locations at Tropicana Field and Tampa's airport. The 22-year-old has hit.300 over five years in the minors.

It's not that anyone expected Longoria to be a Ray for life.

Now, the Rays did not necessarily have to trade Longoria as he was productive enough and his contract was also reasonable, but they also did not have a compelling competitive reason to hang on to him either. Longoria has played at least 156 games in each of the past five seasons.

The San Francisco Giants whiffed on their pursuit of Giancarlo Stanton, but they've added Evan Longoria in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.

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