Longoria: No contract regrets now, break bank later
The longer Rays 3B Evan Longoria plays, and the better he does, there will be more questions about the long-term contract he signed in 2008 that can keep him with the Rays though the 2016 season (with three team options) and pay him - only - about $45-million over the nine-year term.
Longoria, 26, was asked during an MLB Network Intentional Talk interview that aired this week, and answered in a way that should eliminate any short-term concerns in the short-term, and made it clear that his future long-term is likely somewhere else. Also, that he talked with LHP Matt Moore about the similar deal he just signed.
Longoria's replay to Kevin Millar's question about his below-market deal, which tops out with a salary of $11.5-million in his 2016 option year:
"I can honestly say that I’ve never regretted doing it. I can look at myself in the mirror and say that I made the right decision. You never know, who knows, one or two years in I might’ve hurt myself and not been the player that I am today.
"Regardless of all that stuff from the outside looking in, I look at it now as, to this point I’ve lived up to my contract and now, you know, my goal is to outplay it so that when it comes time for me to be a free agent, I’ll be 29, 30 years old. And so that’s the time when you start thinking about breaking the bank.
"Matt Moore, a stud left-handed pitcher for us, he signed a very similar deal. I saw him about three weeks ago and I told him the same thing, it’s like, you can’t turn down your first fortune because you never know when you’re gonna get it again.
"We're gonna be underpaid in a certain sense, you know. You want to have somebody telling you that you’re getting underpaid, because that means you’re doing your job, that means you're doing a good job at it, too.''
Longoria will make $4.5-million this season, which will match Ben Zobrist for fifth highest on the Rays, behind James Shields ($8-million), Carlos Pena ($7.125-million), B.J. Upton ($7-million) and Luke Scott ($5-million).