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Evan Longoria trade marks end of remarkable era for Rays
January 22 2018, 02:13 | Van Peters
Giants Acquire Evan Longoria From Rays in Blockbuster
As part of the deal, the Rays will get Denard Span, infield prospect Christian Arroyo, and pitching prospects Matt Krook and Stephen Woods.
Longoria, 32, is a three-time All-Star has won three Gold Gloves, including for this past season.
The Giants are hoping that Longoria can bounce back from a tough 2017 season that saw him post a.261/.313/.424 line with 20 homers and 86 RBI. Arroyo was a possibility to take over third base in 2018, but the Giants have decided on Longoria instead.
The position had been a priority for San Francisco, and Longoria's durability means so much, too.
After weeks of courting former Miami Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the Giants turned their attention to addressing one of their primary offseason needs, adding a third baseman who can hit in the heart of their order.
"Evan is our greatest Ray", Tampa Bay principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement.
Now, the Rays did not necessarily have to trade Longoria as he was productive enough and his contract was also reasonable, but they also did not have a compelling competitive reason to hang on to him either.
Evan Longoria has played 200 more games than anyone else who has worn the uniform of Tampa Bay's major league team. The Downey, California native will be 36 years old when his contract expires in 2022, and San Francisco entered the offseason looking to become younger and more athletic. 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. He was instrumental to the success the team saw over the past decade, but a team without resources to add and clearly behind the Yankees and Red Sox retreat into rebuild mode and bid farewell to one of the best. That being said, he's still one of the more trustworthy third basemen in baseball.
Span, 33, signed a three-year deal with the Giants in January 2016. Longoria started all 30 of the Rays' postseason games at third. The Giants had been linked throughout the winter to free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, but signing him would have cost the Giants a 2018 draft pick and global bonus-pool money - added costs they weren't willing to take on.