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Rays trade Longoria to Giants

Wayne Masut | Staff Photographer

Rays trade Longoria to Giants

The Rays have sent Evan Longoria to the Giants for Tampa native Denard Span and a package of prospects, signaling an end of an era in Tampa Bay baseball history.

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to trade All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Denard Span and a package of prospects including top prospect Christian Arroyo. The team confirmed the deal on Wednesday.

The Rays will receive Span, Arroyo and pitchers Matt Krook and RHP Stephen Woods. Arroyo was considered the Giants’ No. 1 overall prospect. The Rays will also send cash to San Francisco as part of the deal. Longoria was scheduled to make $13.5 million in 2018 but is owed another $86 million by 2022.

Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to Tweet that a deal was forthcoming with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times breaking the official deal.

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The Face of the Franchise

Longoria had been a popular subject of trade talks this winter. The 32-year-old was about to gain 10-5 veteran status which means he would have been granted veto power over any potential trades. The trade allows the Long Beach native to return to southern California. Longoria grew up in Bellflower and attended college at Cal State-Long Beach.

His departure could signal the start of a full roster overhaul for the Rays now that the longtime face of the franchise is gone. Since becoming the Rays’ first round pick (3rd overall) of the 2006 amateur draft, he has been one of the franchise’s most recognizable — and marketable — players.

“Evan is our greatest Ray. For a decade, he’s been at the center of all of our successes, and it’s a very emotional parting for us all,” said Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “I speak for our entire organization in wishing Evan and his wonderful family our absolute best.”

In his 10-year career with Tampa Bay, Longoria batted .270 with a franchise-record 261 home runs and 892 RBIs. Longoria is also the team’s all-time leader with 1,435 games played, 338 doubles, 618 extra-base hits, 780 runs scored, 569 walks and 2,630 total bases.

He was a three-time Gold Glove award winner, including in 2017. Twice he was the Rays recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award (2014, 2017) for his sportsmanship, community involvement and contribution to the team. Longoria was also the last holdover from the 2008 American League Championship team that went on to face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series and had been a part of all of the team’s 30 posseason games.

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Arroyo was considered the Giants’ No. 1 prospect, according to MLBpipeline. It is a bit of a homecoming for Arroyo who was born in Tampa and grew up in nearby Brooksville where he became the Giants’ first-round pick (25th overall) out of Hernando High School in 2013.

The 22-year-old had a rough big league debut last season, batting .192 with three home runs in 34 games before a pitch broke his left wrist in July that ultimately resulted in surgery. Prior to his debut, Arroyo advanced quickly through the minors including batting .380 with a 1.026 OPS last season at Triple-A. In five minor league seasons, Arroyo has hit .300/.345/.434 (447-for-1,491) with 106 doubles, 11 triples, 24 home runs and 208 runs batted in.

Most importantly, Arroyo could potentially be under team control until 2024.

Woods is a familiar face to some in the Rays organization, having been a 6th round pick by the organization in 2013. The 6-foot-2 righty did not sign and went on to pitch at NY State-Albany. He was drafted by the Giants in 2016. Woods went 6-7 with a 2.96 Era and 113 Ks in 110 innings pitched for Class-A Augusta in 2017. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 29 prospect in the Giants organization.

Krook, a left-hander, was a fourth-round pick out of the University of Oregon by the Giants in 2016. In his first full season at High-A San Jose, he went 4-9 with a 5.12 ERA but did average 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 25 prospect in the Giants organization.

It will also be a homecoming for Denard Span, who is a Tampa resident that played high school ball at Tampa Catholic. The 33-year-old Span batted .272/.329/.427 with 12 stolen bases in 129 games last year. Over his ten major league seasons, Span has hit .283/.348/.396 with 243 doubles, 65 triples, 60 home runs, 432 runs batted in and 176 stolen bases.


 

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