The Tampa Bay Rays are sending long-time third baseman Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants.
After being linked in trade rumors earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Rays have struck a deal with the San Francisco Giants to send All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria to the Bay Area. The deal was first reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the return package going to the Rays features infield prospect Christian Arroyo, center fielder Denard Span and pitching prospects Matt Krook and Stephen Woods. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic added that the Rays are also sending cash to the Giants to help offset Longoria’s remaining salary.
Adding cash to sweeten the deal and taking on Span’s contract ultimately helped the Rays nab Arroyo. He was ranked the top prospect in the Giants system according to MLB Pipeline and made his debut last summer. Arroyo hit .192/.244/.304 in 34 games at the MLB level with three home runs and 14 RBI. He has a very smooth swing and makes contact easily. Whether or not he can develop a power stroke will determine if Arroyo can make the jump from league-average starter to something more.
The Giants are making a big bet that Longoria will bounce back from a disappointing 2017 season. He hit only .261/.313/.424 with 20 home runs and 86 RBI but still defends at an elite level. The three-time All-Star is only entering his age-32 season and did hit 36 home runs in 2016, so there is reason to believe he can still produce at a high level for a few more seasons.
Now that the Rays have parted ways with a franchise icon, it could open the floodgates. The team has been shopping pitchers Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome to varying degrees this offseason. Coming off a 98-loss season, the Giants are attempting to remain competitive but still have question marks in the starting rotation and all three outfield positions. They have filled a void at third base, but still have a lot of work left to do to catch Los Angeles, Arizona and Colorado in the NL West.