Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Cautionary tales, conversations helped Evan Longoria decide to commit to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Evan Longoria had a number of reasons for agreeing to the six-year contract extension that could keep him with the Rays through 2023.

And more than just the 100 million dollars he'll make.

Grady Sizemore, Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez were a few.

All are players who looked at points in their careers to be on the same path to super-stardom as Longoria is now. All who, through injury or inconsistent performance, didn't quite get there, never cashed in with massive contracts and are now trying to extend their careers with year-to-year deals essentially as veteran journeymen.

And all who were examples agent Paul Cohen discussed with Longoria, 27, in deciding whether to take the Rays' deal at the potential loss of earning millions more by waiting for free agency, and the accompanying criticism.

"You just don't know what's going to happen," Cohen said. "Grady Sizemore, for a while, looked like the best player in the game. I have great admiration for Grady Sizemore. But now he's 30 and he's looking to make $1 million."

Troy Tulowitzki is another.

The Rockies shortstop, a close friend who was Longoria's roommate and teammate at Long Beach State, and also a Cohen client, was at a similar stage of his career when he agreed in November 2010 to a big-bucks long-term extension, getting $157 million over 10 years. (Tulowitzki, for what it's worth, missed most of this season with injury.)

"They talked," Cohen said. "I don't know if it was one percent, 10, 20, but it did have an impact."

So, too, it seemed, was Carl Crawford.

Though Longoria didn't mention his former teammate by name, he made several references to the cautionary tale of players leaving the Rays in search of better elsewhere and ending up unhappy.

"I've seen a lot of guys come in and out of here, and a lot of guys are disappointed when they leave and a lot of guys that have been here a long time express their interest in staying here and not wanting to be anywhere else," Longoria said.

And even Derek Jeter.

In stating his desire to stay with the Rays his entire career and become a "benchmark" player and a face of the franchise, Longoria was clearly referencing the Yankees captain.

"Guys now are few and far between playing their whole careers in places," Longoria said. "It has been important to me to kind of put roots down in one place and be in one place for a long time."

Cohen and Longoria discussed numerous scenarios from when the Rays first expressed their interest in an extension in February until it was consummated and announced Monday. The fact that Longoria was injured and sidelined for more than three of those months factored into his thinking as well.

Cohen said one of the concepts is based on how much of potential lifetime profit/earnings can be captured quickly. And this deal allowed Longoria, in addition to the $11 million he has already received and another $36.6 million already committed, to reap a large share.

"You've just turned 27 and you have a deal on the table that guarantees your earnings at that point to basically $150 million," Cohen said. "How many players get to that point?"

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

 
Comments
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Published: 04/18/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Alex Colome's ninth-inning dramatics took the focus, but the work of newly corn-rowed RHP Chaz Roe in the seventh (three Ks) and LHP Jose Alvarado (one K, two infield outs) was textbook, and showed how the bullpen can work.RELATED: Whew. Alex Colome ...
Published: 04/18/18
Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

ST. PETERSBURG — Even before they lost several of the hitters they were relying most on to injuries, the Rays did not exactly have a lineup built on intimidation.Their own owner said opening day that he expected them to rank among the least pro...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was all smiles Wednesday morning, happy to play a role through social media in reuniting a lost dog and its owner."I feel really good about how this worked out," Baldelli said.REUNITED! Thank you everyone for spreading the w...
Published: 04/18/18
For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

UPDATE, 12:01: Cash said Brad Miller (groin) got through his rehab game with the Stone Crabs well last night playing first and will play second tonight, with the likely plan to be off Thursday and rejoin the Rays Friday. … With 3B Matt Duffy on...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

ST. PETERSBURG — For three outings, rookie Yonny Chirinos had been stellar in making a case to join the Rays' starting rotation, not allowing a single run in the first 141/3 innings of his major-league career.That perfection came to an inevitab...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Rays journal: Rays play it safe, put Matt Duffy on DL with hamstring injury

Rays journal: Rays play it safe, put Matt Duffy on DL with hamstring injury

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Duffy is back on the disabled list.The Rays third baseman, who missed all of last season with an Achilles tendon injury, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday after leaving Monday's game in the first inning with t...
Published: 04/17/18
Rays takeaways: Just one bad outing, a rangey outfield, a sharp ex-Ray

Rays takeaways: Just one bad outing, a rangey outfield, a sharp ex-Ray

Yonny Chirinos may still be an answer as the Rays look to fill out their rotation. He probably stayed in a little too long Tuesday, trailing 2-1 entering the fifth but giving up four runs the rest of the way. Bad starts caught up to him in the first,...
Published: 04/17/18
Rays-Rangers lineup: Matt Duffy to DL, Brandon Snyder up

Rays-Rangers lineup: Matt Duffy to DL, Brandon Snyder up

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where another day brings another round of injury-related transactions for the Rays.Third baseman Matt Duffy, who left Monday's game with tightness in his right hamstring, has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, ta...
Published: 04/17/18