The San Francisco Giants have made their first splash of the off-season, trading top prospect Christian Arroyo, Denard Span and two minor league pitchers to the Tampa Bay Rays for third baseman Evan Longoria, and cash.
The three time All-Star, Longoria finished 2017 with a 3.6 WAR, 20 home runs, 86 runs batted in. He was also awarded the Gold Glove for his defensive play at the hot corner. However, he only had a .737 OPS.
The Giants will be hoping Longoria can return closer to his 2016 offensive numbers, that included 36 home runs, 98 RBI’s and an .840 OPS.
Longoria, 32, has $86-million and five years remaining on a deal he signed with the Rays, with a 2023 option that could push the total to $94-million.
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Pitchers Matt Krook and Stephen Woods will also be heading to Tampa, along with Arroyo. The 21 year old Arroyo, a Tampa native, was the Giants top prospect heading into 2017 and made his major league debut in May. Injuries derailed his rookie season, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
The Giants have been looking for right handed power and an everyday third baseman since the off-season began. Arroyo was a possibility to take over third base in 2018, but the Giants have decided on Longoria instead.
After trading Eduardo Nunez at the trade deadline last year, the Giants had tried minor leaguers like Ryder Jones and even former Giant, Pablo Sandoval. Manager Bruce Bochy, when asked earlier in the off-season about third base said that if the season had started that day, Sandoval would be the third baseman. Now it will be
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.
"“I think they have made it pretty clear that they want to cut salary so I guess that leaves me somewhere in limbo. I think I’ve been pretty upfront about wanting to be in Tampa (Bay) for my whole career, but I realize that my window is getting smaller to win a championship.“If they decide to rebuild completely and give everyone up then I suppose my family and I will adjust.”"
The Giants had expressed a desire to be under the $197M luxury tax and traded starter Matt Moore and his nine million to Texas. With the addition of Longoria, the Giants will likely look to move other contracts.
Rumors have had the Giants moving outfielders Denard Span and Hunter Pence, who will make a combined $29.5 million in 2018. Span, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Hank Schulman, was reportedly included in the accepted trade for Giancarlo Stanton. Span currently lives in Tampa Bay, making it easy to convince him of a move there.
Pence has a full no trade clause, so he would need to approve any trade.