Friday, November 16, 2018
  • The Heater
  • Marc Topkin

5 more things about Rays trade of Evan Longoria to Giants

In addition to the thorough coverage in today's Times, here are five more things to know about the trade of 3B Evan Longoria fron the Rays to the Giants:

* The key player coming back in a deal with the Giants has medical issues. The Rays say INF Christian Arroyo is expected to be ready by the start of the season, having sidelined since breaking his left hand in a July 1 game. If this sounds concerning, that's fair given the last big deal the Rays made with the Giants when both big-league INF Matt Duffy and prospect SS Lucius Fox came from San Francisco with injuries that proved to be issues. In Duffy's case, he came off the DL to play for the Rays briefly following the Aug. 1, 2016 trade for Matt Moore, but then underwent surgery on his left heel that was supposed to have him ready for 2017 opening day but due to various complications he missed the whole season. Arroyo's left hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch July 1. He went to winter ball to play for Escogido in the Dominican Republic in October but aggravated the hand and, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, had to have surgery to have a stabilizing plate inserted.

* Longoria has a lot to be excited about in going from the Rays to the Giants, two obvious things he talked about with San Francisco reporters including having grass on the field and fans in the seats. Also, "I am excited at the opportunity in front of me," he said on a conference call. "I know I'm coming into an organization and a group of guys that wants to win and that's committed to winning. And there are some veteran leaders in that clubhouse already so I'm happy to be in a place where all of the weight or a lot of the weight doesn't feel like it's on my shoulders."

* Arroyo is not a lock to start the season in the majors. Though he has some big-league time, playing 34 games for the Giants last year, he has only 102 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, having moved fairly quickly through the Giants system afetr being a first-round pick in 2012 out of Hernando High. In fact, the Rays – depending on what other trades and moves they make – could open the season with an all prospect infield at Triple-A Durham – Arroyo at third, Willy Adames at short, Daniel Robertson at second and Jake Bauers at first. Arroyo came up as a shortstop but is considered better suited for third base in the majors, and possibly could move over to second. His most intriguing tool is his bat, with the potential for power to develop soon without striking out a lot.

* OF Denard Span seems likely to get traded by the Rays, who don't necessarily want to take on the $13-million he is owed. But the Tampa native is a solid outfielder who finds a way – when healthy – to put balls in play a lot. With GM Erik Neander seeming to indicate Wednesday that Kevin Kiermaier won't be traded and will be in centerfield, the Rays would seem likely trade either Span or Corey Dickerson (projected to make $6.4M), with the other playing leffield or DH, Or the Rays could trade them both and turn to Mallex Smith. The Giants included Span in the deal to cut their payroll and limit their luxury tax exposure.

* Playing 10 years in Tampa Bay entrenched Longoria in the community, and left him with a lot of people to say thanks, too. That even included the Tampa Bay media, whom Longoria acknowledged at the start of his conference call for always treating him fairly. Several remaining Rays reached out via Twitter to thank Longoria for his service,including Chris Archer: "Never thought there would be a day where you weren't a Ray. We will do everything we can to continue the legacy that you created. I'll never forget the things I learned from you. It was such a pleasure to stand along side you on the diamond. You'll be missed, everyday"

Comments