The SF Giants have a decision to make on longtime third baseman Evan Longoria in the coming days and no one really knows which way the front office is leaning. Longoria added to the mystery by publishing a cryptic post on his Instagram account.
SF Giants third baseman Evan Longoria publishes cryptic post on social media
The Giants will need to decide by Thursday if they are going to exercise the 37-year-old's $13 million team option. If they do not, he is owed a $5 million payout. One way or the other, San Francisco will be paying Longoria at least $5 million in 2023.
They have to decide whether to pay the remaining $8 million by picking up the option. The 15-year veteran might already know the answer, but he took to Instragm on Monday to keep fans guessing:
The picture is of Longoria jogging up the first base line, presumably after hitting a home run against Arizona Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly. Kelly proved to be tough on Giants hitters as he posted a 3.15 ERA in six starts against San Francisco last season.
With a more balanced schedule beginning in 2023, teams will not often see a starter six times in the same season, so that could become a relic of the past. Despite struggling against Kelly for much of the season, the Giants scratched eight runs in 4.2 innings off of the right-handed hurler in his final start of the season.
Longoria led the charge as he blasted two home runs off of Kelly to secure a 10-4 win against the Diamondbacks. Of course, the right-handed bat finished the year on the injured list as he fractured his thumb during that series.
Performance has not been an issue with the longtime third baseman. The 2022 season was a quality one as he slashed .244/.315/.451 (114 OPS+) with 14 home runs, 42 RBI, and 31 runs in 298 plate appearances. However, durabiltiy has been an issue. Longoria has appeared in under 100 games for two straight seasons and that does not typically improve with players who are heading into their age-37 season.
Still, Longoria remains one of the better internal third base options that the Giants have. His Instagram post does not indicate what will be happening one way or the other. To add to the mystery, Longoria did not provide a caption. It is just a picture.
Perhaps, he is reflecting on one of the final home runs in his long career. Or, it is a sign that he will be making one more trip around the bases with San Francisco. The answer will be known by Thursday at the latest.