MLB Hot Stove: Rays trade Evan Longoria to the Giants for Span and three prospects

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded their longest franchise fixture, as third baseman Evan Longoria is headed to the San Francisco Giants. The two sides have announced a trade as official. 

The return to the Rays includes outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor leaguers. 

The big news here is obviously Longoria. The third overall pick in the 2006 draft, he came up quickly through the Rays' system and debuted in April of 2008. Remember, the Rays were previously the laughingstock Devil Rays before 2008. They've been a very good franchise ever since, starting with winning the AL pennant in 2008. Longoria put in 10 years with the club. 

Longoria is the Rays' career leader in games, WAR, runs, RBI, total bases, doubles, home runs, walks and a lot more. He's been the mainstay among lots of player movement through the past decade. 

"Evan in our greatest Ray," owner Stu Sternberg said in a statement. "For a decade, he's been at the center of all our successes and it's a very emotional parting for us all." 

Now Longoria heads across the country. He fits with the Giants. They needed an everyday third baseman and he's solid there. Last season, Longoria hit .261/.313/.424 (100 OPS+) with 36 doubles, 20 homers and 86 RBI. His 20 homers would've led the team, so it is pretty obvious he fits into the middle of the order along with the likes of Buster Posey and Brandon Belt

Still, the Giants would much rather have the 2016 version of Longoria, when he clubbed 36 homers. Otherwise one has to worry about AT&T Park suppressing Longoria's power and this move not moving the needle a ton. 

Longoria is due at least $86 million through 2022 (it's five years and $81 million with a $13 million club option for 2023 with a $5 million buyout). This would be the impetus for the Rays to deal Longoria, along with how stacked the Yankees and, to a lesser extent, the Red Sox look right now. 

Span heads to the Rays simply to fray some of the salary cost. He's due $11 million this season before a $12 million club option with a $4 million buyout for 2019. He heads into his age-34 season coming off a .272/.329/.427 (100 OPS+) campaign. Once a great base stealer, he managed 12 steals in 19 tries last year and his defensive range has deteriorated to the point that he posted a -1.1 WAR last year.  

Arroyo, 22, saw action in 34 games for the Giants last year, hitting .192/.244/.304. He was considered by some a top-100 prospect heading into the season and was the Giants' top prospect. He didn't play overly well in his call last season, but that's a small sample in his debut season. Hampered by hand/wrist injuries, he only managed 25 games in Triple-A last year, but he hit .396/.461/.604. His minor-league track record suggests a good average hitter with decent on-base chops and not a ton of home run power. 

It's possible Arroyo figures in the Rays' plans at second base, shortstop or third base in the near future, but Matt Duffy figures to get the first crack to replace Longoria while Adeiny Hechavarria should remain the starter at short. 

Also going to the Rays are right-handed pitcher Stephen Woods and left-handed pitcher Matt Krook. Woods, 22, was 6-7 with a 2.95 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 110 innings last season for Class-A Augusta. He was the Giants' eighth-round pick out of Albany State in 2016. Krook, 23, was 4-9 with a 5.12 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings last season for Class-A Advanced San Jose. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered ever World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the north... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories