San Francisco Giants: What does Evan Longoria’s future hold?
By Leo Luna
Third baseman Evan Longoria still has three guaranteed seasons remaining on his contract. How does he fit into the San Francisco Giants future plans?
The San Francisco Giants acquired Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the 2018 season, and he hasn’t given fans much to be excited about during his first two seasons with the club.
During his time with the Giants, he’s hit .250/.304/.427 with 35 home runs and 119 RBI. If we were talking about only one season, fans might feel confident about the man controlling the hot corner.
Instead, those numbers have been posted over the span of 246 games.
Despite that middling production, he still profiles as the team’s long-term answer at third base as a result of his contract:
- 2020: $15.2 million—TB pays $2 million
- 2021: $18.7 million—TB pays $2 million
- 2022: $19.7 million—TB pays $5 million
- 2023: $13 million team option, $5 million buyout
Paying an underperforming 33-year-old $44.6 million over the next three seasons is a less-than-ideal situation for the San Francisco Giants.
That’s especially true when you take into account the fact that Longoria has expressed some psychological struggles related to playing at Oracle Park.
This season’s home/road splits only further speak to that point:
- Home: 233 PA, .230/.279/.369, 5 HR, 25 RBI
- Road: 240 PA, .286/.375/.524, 14 HR, 40 RBI
There are some overarching reasons for optimism, though, tied to his recent play.
Over his last 47 games going back to July 1, he’s hitting .309/.367/.549 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 196 plate appearances. Roughly half of the team’s games have come at home during that span, so Oracle Park has not been the same roadblock of late.
With the Giants implementing more of a matchup-based lineup approach since Farhan Zaidi has taken control of the front office, Longoria could be best used as a platoon player going forward.
Take a look at his platoon splits:
- vs LHP: 149 PA, .879 OPS, .295/.383/.496, 6 HR, 23 RBI
- vs RHP: 324 PA, .724 OPS, .241/.302/.422, 13 HR, 42 RBI
Given his contract situation, trading Longoria is really not an option without the San Francisco Giants eating a substantial amount of his remaining contract.
That said, if he can continue to perform the way he has during the second half of the season, he’s capable of living up to the $13.2 million figure that is on the Giants books for the 2020 season.
One way or another, he’s as close to a 100 percent sure thing to still be wearing a San Francisco Giants uniform next season.