Evan Longoria's Stint With the Tampa Bay Rays Ends

Kristopher Nichols
December 21, 2017

The Rays are receiving Christian Arroyo, Denard Span, Matt Krook and Stephen Woods in return.

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.

San Francisco had been trying all offseason to procure a potent bat to anchor its lineup and finally found its man in Longoria, a career.270 hitter with 261 home runs in 10 Major League Baseball seasons.

While the Giants filled their third base need with Longoria, Moustakas remains part of the stable of free agent hitters - which also includes his former Kansas City Royals teammates Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain, plus outfielder J.D. Martinez - still waiting to latch onto a team for 2018. "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 hit.261 for the Rays last season with 20 home runs and 86 runs batted in. The question now becomes whether the trade will continue to help San Francisco as the club moves into the future, or whether it's the type of deal that only further masks the long-term issues facing the franchise.

Longoria, 32, was drafted by the Rays as the third overall pick in the 2006 draft.

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It is the end of an era in Tampa Bay. He rated as a league-average batter - the first time in his 10-year career he did not rank as above average - and he has five years and $86 million left on his contract. Longoria represents a significant upgrade both offensively and defensively, but how much of one is he going to be will depend on which Longoria shows up. San Francisco will pay Longoria salaries of $12 million next year, $12.5 million in 2019, $13 million in 2020, $16.5 million in 2021 and $17.5 million in 2022.

The NL West now has four of the top 15 third basemen, based on last season's Fangraphs WAR rankings: Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies (4), Justin Turner of the Dodgers (5), Jake Lamb of the Arizona Diamondbacks (14) and Longoria (15).

It was not just the Giants who were reportedly paying close attention to Longoria.

The Rays bid farewell to Longoria with this tweet: "We salute our greatest ever".

In November 2012, Longoria received a $136.6 million, 10-year contract with Tampa Bay that added six guaranteed seasons and $100 million to his previous deal.

This will be the first shift of scenery for the veteran third baseman.

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