Giants Acquire Evan Longoria From Rays in Blockbuster
21 December 2017, 12:38 | Kristine Mills
The face of the franchise for almost a decade, Evan Longoria was traded by the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants for four players.
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.
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.
The three time All-Star, Longoria finished 2017 with a 3.6 WAR, 20 home runs, 86 runs batted in.
With the deal, the Giants fill a need a third base. "Evan is a known player and quite frankly, you look at his baseball card, we're getting somebody who's not only been an accomplished third baseman of note but hits in the middle of the order and improves our defense overnight".
Longoria has five years and $86 million remaining on his deal, after hitting.261 with 20 homers and a.737 on-base plus slugging percentage in 2017, the second-lowest of his career.
"Evan is our greatest Ray", Tampa Bay principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement.
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The 32-year-old has been sent to the San Francisco Giants. That being said, he's still one of the more trustworthy third basemen in baseball.
Evan Longoria has played 200 more games than anyone else who has worn the uniform of Tampa Bay's major league team.
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. However, Span has just one more year on his contract, so he will be off their books by 2019. Longoria's.737 OPS was actually worse than Span's in 2017, as the former Giants' center fielder finished with a.756 clip previous year.
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. The Giants went 64-98 to avoid the club's first 100-loss season since 1985.
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