Tampa Bay Rays say goodbye to Evan Longoria

Tampa Bay Rays say goodbye to Evan Longoria

Per a source, outfielder Denard Span is heading back to Tampa, while Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Rays will also get infielder Christian Arroyo, left-hander Matt Krook and right-hander Stephen Woods. Tampa Bay dropped the "Devil" from its nickname, went from worst-to-first the following year on a stunning run to the World Series, and has been to the playoffs three more times since while going 855-766 (.527) in its second decade. Instead of starting Spring Training with an inexperienced Christian Arroyo and an underwhelming Pablo Sandoval battling for the job, San Francisco now has a player who has hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons and a three-time Gold Glove Award victor manning the hot corner.

Longoria, 32, won his third Gold Glove in 2017 but struggled offensively, hitting.261 with 20 homers and 86 RBIs. And while his offense may be declining, Longoria, at the very least, is durable and a good defender-a big improvement for a Giants team that lost virtually everyone to injury previous year and, aside from Brandon Crawford at shortstop and Buster Posey behind the plate, was a mess with the gloves.

Longoria, who has spent his entire 10 year career with the Rays, was unsure of his future this off-season, according to Marc Topkin at the Tampa Bay Times.

There is a clear point of delineation in the fortunes of Tampa Bay's Major League Baseball franchise, a split that can be summed up by one word, and one player.




UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi". Baseball doesn't work that way these days, and the structure of that extension Longoria signed all but demanded he be moved, given the Rays' customary payroll constraints. The Giants do have room to make moves even after adding Longoria's money, but they're right up against their limit and still have holes to fill in the outfield, rotation and bullpen. However, San Francisco doesn't appear to be anywhere close to finished this winter. Arroyo was a possibility to take over third base in 2018, but the Giants have decided on Longoria instead.

After days of rumors about the potential trade, the Rays officially announced the deal on Wednesday. The team has been shopping pitchers Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome to varying degrees this offseason.

Now that the Rays have parted ways with a franchise icon, it could open the floodgates.

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