Longoria, 32, has a .270/.341/.483 career triple slash, but some of his stats have started to trend downward now that he’s in his 30s. He hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017, which is down from his career average, but still more than serviceable. He also won a Gold Glove in 2017, bringing his career total to three.
In return, the Giants are sending four players to the Rays.
Source: Giants get Evan Longoria for Christian Arroyo, Denard Span, Matt Krook and Stephen Woods.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 20, 2017
Christian Arroyo is the big name in this trade. He’s a 22-year-old infielder who’s made it onto several top 100 prospects list, and has hit .300/.345/.434 over five years in the minors. The Giants also sent center fielder Denard Span to the Rays in this deal, which gets his $11 million contract off the books for 2018.
And getting some money off the books was necessary to acquire Longoria. In 2012, Longoria signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension with the Rays, which would have kept him in Tampa Bay until at least 2022. That contract probably won’t age well, especially considering that there’s another five years and more than $80 million left on it (not including the 2023 club option), and Longoria is already 32. But at the very least he’s controllable, and he’s a definite upgrade over Pablo Sandoval.
There was no better time for the Rays to trade Longoria, especially since they wouldn’t have the chance for much longer. Longoria has played for the Rays for ten years, and in April he would gain 10-and-5 rights, which means that the Rays wouldn’t be able to trade him without his say-so. Longoria’s 2012 contract extension didn’t contain a no-trade clause, though he’s said multiple times that he wanted to remain with the Rays for his entire career.
The Giants obviously aren’t giving up after losing out on Giancarlo Stanton. After a disastrous 2017 campaign, they’re ready to get back to winning. And they’ll likely do more of that with Evan Longoria manning third base than Pablo Sandoval.
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