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Going back to the Tampa Bay Rays — this one is kind of out there — but I think it’s finally time for them to move on from Evan Longoria.
The third baseman made a commitment to the Rays, and they made a commitment back to him by singing him through 2023. His salary goes up a little every year starting at $13 million in 2017 and peeking at $19.5 million in 2022. Then there is a team option for $13 million in 2023, which will most likely not be picked up.
There is no way that the Rays can afford to pay him the back end of this deal while they are trying to stay afloat in the highly competitive American League East.
They have to find a way to shed Evan Longoria, and the San Francisco Giants could be a good landing spot for him.
He’ll play this year at age 31 and he’s still a very productive player at the plate and in the field. He’s played in at least 160 games in the past four years after dealing with some injuries in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
He’s also hit at least 22 home runs in each of those seasons, including 36 last year. His batting average and on-base-percentage is not what it once was finishing at .273/.318 last year, but he’s still a very good hitter.
He is right-handed, which makes it hard to stack him in the lineup with Posey and Pence, but you’ll take that risk with someone like Longoria.
Not only does he bring another big bat to your lineup, but he’s one of the best defensive third baseman in the game as well, and someone who could add veteran leadership on a club trying to win a World Series.
Obviously the biggest hiccup in any deal for Longoria is the money. While Longoria is still a productive player at 31, he is coming out of his prime years and won’t be worth what he’s owed the next six years.
The Rays would have to eat a lot of that money and take minimal prospects back in return. But it may be worth if for a franchise that desperately needs to rid itself of that contract.
This one is definitely a long shot, but I think Longoria would be a great addition to this team if the stars aligned.
It’s still highly unlikely that the San Francisco Giants will make a move for any of these players, but it’s nice to dream in the middle of January.
Let us know what you think on Twitter (@RoundTheFoghorn), and comment below on who you think the San Francisco Giants should trade for – if anybody.