The Tampa Bay Rays have swapped their longest franchise game, as third baseman Evan Longoria heads to the San Francisco Giants. The two parties have announced an exchange as an official.
The return to the Rays includes outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor leaguers.
The great news here is, obviously, Longoria. The third overall pick in the 2006 draft quickly approached the Rays' system and debuted in April 2008. Remember, the Rays were once the laughing stock of Devil Rays before 2008. They've been a very good franchise since then, starting with winning the American League pennant in 2008. Longoria put in 10 years with the club.
Longoria is the Rays' career leader in games, WAR, racing, RBI, total bases, doubles, home runs, walks and much more. It has been the pillar of many player movements in the last decade.
"Evan in our best Ray," owner Stu Sternberg said in a statement. "For a decade, it has been at the center of all our successes and it is a very emotional farewell for all of us."
Now Longoria is heading across the country. He fits with the Giants. They needed a third baseman every day and he is solid there. Last season, Longoria hit .261 / .313 / .424 (100 OPS +) with 36 doubles, 20 home runs and 86 RBIs. His 20 homers would have led the team, so it's pretty obvious that he fits into the middle of the order along with players like Buster Posey and Brandon Belt.
Still, the Giants would prefer to have the 2016 version of Longoria, when he hit 36 homers. Otherwise, one has to worry about AT & T Park suppressing the power of Longoria and this move does not move the needle a ton.
Longoria must pay at least $ 86 million through 2022 (it is five years and $ 81 million with a club option of $ 13 million for 2023 with a purchase of $ 5 million). This would be the impetus for the Rays to deal with Longoria, along with the stacks of the Yankees and, to a lesser extent, the Red Sox right now.
Span targets the Rays simply to wear down some of the salary cost. He will have to pay $ 11 million this season before a $ 12 million club option with a $ 4 million purchase by 2019. He heads for his 34-year season from a .272 / .329 / .427 campaign (100 OPS +). He was once a great base stealer, he managed 12 steals in 19 attempts last year and his defensive rank has deteriorated to the point of having posted a WAR of -1.1 last year.
Arroyo, 22, saw action in 34 games for the Giants last year, hitting .192 / .244 / .304. He was considered by some to be one of the 100 best prospects in the season and was the main prospect of the Giants. He did not play very well in his visit last season, but that is a small sample in his debut season. Caused by hand / wrist injuries, he only managed 25 games in Triple-A last year, but hit .396 / .461 / .604. His minor league record suggests a good average hitter with good doses at the base and not a ton of home run power.
Arroyo may figure in the Rays' plans at second base, shortstop or third base in the near future, but Matt Duffy manages to get the first crack to replace Longoria, while Adeiny Hechavarria should remain holder in the short.
Rays also went to right-hander Stephen Woods and left-handed pitcher Matt Krook. Woods, 22, was 6-7 with a 2.95 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 110 innings last season for Augusta's A-Clbad. He was selected in the eighth round of the Albany State Giants in 2016. Krook, 23, was 4-9 with a 5.12 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings last season for Advanced San Jose Clbad A.