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Rays trade Evan Longoria to Giants

The Rays have said so long to Evan Longoria. The greatest player in franchise history was traded Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants.
Evan Longoria's walkoff homer in Game 162 of the 2011 season was his signature moment. [Times photo]
Evan Longoria's walkoff homer in Game 162 of the 2011 season was his signature moment. [Times photo]
Published Dec. 20, 2017|Updated Dec. 21, 2017
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The details

  • For Longoria and cash considerations, the Rays are getting back INF Christian Arroyo (from Hernando), veteran OF Denard Span (from Tampa) plus Class A RHP Stephen Woods and Class A LHP Matt Krook.
  • The Rays took advantage of the opportunity to shed his $13.5 million salary for 2018, and the overall $86 million he is guaranteed, with a 2023 option pushing the total to $94 million. It’s part of their effort to trim payroll.
  • In addition to being one of the key players on the field, Longoria has been involved in numerous charitable causes in the Tampa Bay area, most notably the Pet Pal animal shelters, the Reading with the Rays program, and the Great Explorations Children’s Museum, to which they recently donated $500,000. He is also an owner of the Ducky’s sports lounge in Tampa.

Longoria’s career

  • Longoria joined the Rays shortly into the 2008 season and agreed then a six-year deal that guaranteed him $17.5-million and, with three option years, could be worth $44.5-million over nine years.
  • He is a three-time All-Star, was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2008, won the Silver Slugger award in 2009 and has finished in the top 20 of the AL MVP voting six times.
  • The team record holder in many offensive categories, Longoria is probably most known for his dramatic 2011 Game 162 12th-inning walkoff homer that pushed the Rays into the playoffs in one of the wildest regular-season finishes in major-league history.
  • Longoria is coming off a season in which he won his third Gold Glove at third base but took a step back offensively, hitting .261 with 20 homers, 86 RBIs and a .737 OPS. It was his fifth straight season, and ninth in his first 10 in the majors, that he hit at least 20 homers.

Who the Rays got in return

  • Christian Arroyo, 22, is likely the key to the deal for the Rays as one of the Giants top prospects. A 2013 first-round pick from Hernando High, Arroyo made his big-league debut on April 24 last season after a hot start at Triple-A. He made 32 starts for the Giants (21 at 3B, 9 at SS, 2 at 2B) while hitting .192 with three homers and 14 RBIs, then was sent back to the minors in early June and played in eight games before sustaining a broken left hand. The Rays say he is expected to be ready for opening day.
  • Veteran OF Denard Span (from Tampa Catholic) hit .272 with a career-high 12 home runs, 43 RBIs and 12 stolen bases last season. A 10-year veteran, he also has played with Minnesota and Washington.
  • Class RHP Stephen Woods and Class A LHP Matt Krook.
  • Cash considerations likely to include a $2 million bonus Longoria is due from the acquiring team in being traded.

Now, the rebuilding begins

ST. PETERSBURG — It wasn’t supposed to end like this, with Evan Longoria driving around on a “tough” Wednesday morning figuring out how to say goodbye to Tampa Bay and hello to San Francisco while Rays officials were tepidly trying to explain why they had just traded the best player in franchise history.

When Longoria agreed in November 2012 to sign a second long-term deal at team-friendly terms, the narrative was about the mutual commitment they had made for the next decade, how he never wanted to go anywhere else and how the Rays planned to keep him forever, envisioning the day he would lead them onto the field at their new stadium.

“Somebody we would expect and believe could be a Ray for life,’’ principal owner Stuart Sternberg said that day.

So how did they get to this day, Longoria traded to the Giants, a deal seemingly made much more for the Rays to shed the $86 million remaining on that contract than for the return: a pair of locals — promising infield prospect Christian Arroyo and solid veteran outfielder Denard Span — and two Class A arms.

- Marc Topkin

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Jones: The worst thing about the Evan Longoria trade

ST. PETERSBURG — In a family room inside a house in the Tyrone area of St. Petersburg, a couch is pushed up against one wall.

If you lift the cushions, right in the middle you’ll see a large dark stain. It got there at exactly 12:05 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2011.

At that precise moment, just a few miles away from that couch, Evan Longoria ripped a pitch down the leftfield line and over the short wall at Tropicana Field to put the Rays into the playoffs. Just as the ball sailed over the fence, a 14-year-old kid named Andy, wide-eyed and screaming and not believing what he had just seen, jumped into the air and sent a full glass of chocolate milk into the cushions of the couch where he had been sitting.

This is the same young man who got an official Longoria jersey when was he was 11 to celebrate Longoria’s arrival in 2008. And the same young man who grew out of that jersey and replaced it with a bigger No. 3 jersey that is on a hanger in a room where a Longoria poster used to be.

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Fennelly: So long Evan Longoria. We’ll always have Game 162

ST. PETERSBURG — There will always be that night, the home run carrying down the left field line at Tropicana Field, the man who hit it with his arms raised as he rounded first base, circling the bases on one of the biggest nights in Tampa Bay sports history. That will never change. That will always be 162.

That will always be Longo.

The Rays would never again have made the playoffs with Evan Longoria. They might never be a playoff team without him.

It’s just as well. The garage sale has begun. Longoria was traded Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants for two players with Tampa Bay roots — infielder Christian Arroyo and outfielder Denard Spann — and a couple minor-league pitchers. A cornerstone is gone. Longoria, the ace of the Rays for a decade, is officially part of franchise history. This team is headed in a different direction, maybe even to a different part of the country.

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Video archive:

Listen: Longoria addresses media after trade

Related: Read: Evan Longoria told Rays if trade was imminent, he wanted ‘a win for both sides’

Statement from owner Stuart Sternberg:

Other top trades in Tampa Bay sports history

1978: The Bucs trade the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft to the Houston Oilers, who select Earl Campbell. In return, the Bucs receive Houston’s first-round pick, which they use to select Doug Williams, who led the Bucs to the 1979 NFC title game, and another pick from Houston to choose eventual Pro Bowl tight end Jimmie Giles. Two Ring of Honor inductees for … a Hall of Famer.

2000: The Bucs give up two first-round draft picks to acquire New York Jets receiver Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson signs an eight-year, $56 million contract extension to make him the highest paid receiver in the NFL.

2008: Before they even own the team, new Lightning co-owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, against the wishes of GM Jay Feaster, trade Brad Richards, the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, to Dallas in a deal that also ships Johan Holmqvist to the Stars in exchange for Mike Smith, Jeff Halpern and Jussi Jokinen. In July, defenseman Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich are traded to San Jose.

2014: The Lightning agree to captain Marty St. Louis’ request and trade the 2003-04 Hart Trophy winner to the New York Rangers in exchange for Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. St. Louis and New York reached the Stanley Cup Final that June. Callahan and the Lightning defeat St. Louis and the Rangers in the 2015 Eastern Conference Final.

2014: The Rays begin to clear salary and trade 2012 Cy Young Award winner David Price in a three-team deal that sends Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin and top shortstop prospect Willy Adames to the Rays and Austin Jackson to the Seattle Mariners. Price has since pitched for Detroit, Toronto and Boston. The Rays expect Adames in the majors sometimes this season.

2008: The Rays trade former No. 1 overall draft pick Delmon Young as part of a six-team deal that brought pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Bartlett over from Minnesota. Garza is voted MVP of the 2008 ALCS and Bartlett is voted team MVP as the Rays reach the World Series.

2002: The Bucs trade with the Raiders for head coach Jon Gruden, in exchange for Tampa Bay’s first-round draft picks in 2002 and 2003, 2002 and 2004 second-round draft picks and $8 million in cash. In January 2003, Gruden and the Bucs win Super Bowl XXXVII.

- Martin Fennelly

Evan Longoria 2006 Tampa Bay Devil Rays first round pick (No. 3 overall) a third base man. Handout Photo
Evan Longoria 2006 Tampa Bay Devil Rays first round pick (No. 3 overall) a third base man. Handout Photo

Photos: Longo went long but now gone

Evan Longoria, the greatest player in Rays franchise history, was traded Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants. Check out his career in photos.

Where Evan Longoria’s Game 162 ranks among Tampa Bay’s greatest sports plays

1. RONDE’S INTERCEPTION: Ronde Barber’s 92-yard interception return sealed the Bucs’ 2002 NFC Championship Game victory against the Eagles and sent Tampa Bay to its first (and only) Super Bowl, which it won a week later.

2. MARTY IN DOUBLE OT: Marty St. Louis scored less than a minute into double-overtime in Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals to give the Lightning a 3-2 victory in Calgary and send the series back to Tampa Bay for a Game 7, which Tampa Bay won two nights later

3. LONGO’S 162: Evan Longoria’s second homer of the game in the bottom of the 12th helped the Rays overcome a 7-0 deficit and beat the Yankees on the last day of the 2011 regular season to send the Rays to the playoffs.

4. JOHNSON’S 162: Longoria’s Game 162 heroics never happen unless journeyman Dan Johnson, who had hit one homer all season, comes off the bench and hits an absolutely improbable two-out, two-strike, pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and send it to extra-innings.

5. WADE’S 3,000th: Tampa native Wade Boggs became the first player in major-league history to pick up his historic 3,000th hit on a home run when he homered for the Rays at the Trop on Aug. 7, 1999.

- Tom Jones

Evan Longoria’s place among the best players in Tampa Bay sports

1. Derrick Brooks, Bucs (1995-2008): Pro Football Hall of Famer and true leader of the Tampa Bay’s best football teams, including Super Bowl XXXVII champs.

2. Warren Sapp, Bucs (1995-2003): Pro Football Hall of Famer who just might be the greatest defensive tackle to ever play the game.

3. Marty St. Louis, Lightning (2000-14): Two-time NHL scoring champ and the 2004 NHL MVP and Stanley Cup champ. The Lightning’s all-time leading scorer.

4. Evan Longoria, Rays (2008-2017): Greatest player in Rays history who won three Gold Gloves and was named to three All-Star teams. He also authored the greatest moment in franchise history with his Game 162 homer in 2011.

5. Lee Roy Selmon, Bucs (1976-84): It was difficult to leave Lightning’s Vinny Lecavalier off this list, but Selmon gets the nod. You gotta go with a guy who has a toll road and a restaurant chain named after him. Oh, he’s a Pro Football Hall of Famer, too.

- Tom Jones

Rays fans react

TAMPA — After hearing the news of the Rays trading Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants Wednesday, several people called Ducky’s Sports Lounge and asked if the bar would close.

“We’re not going anywhere,” said Lorenzo Cordoves, long-time manager of the restaurant and bar Longoria co-owns. “Longoria is still apart of Ducky’s. It’s been a tough day here. He’s been an integral part of Tampa. We wish him well.”

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Reaction on Twitter

All-North Suncoast baseball player Christian Arroyo 18, on Thursday, June 6, 2013.  Times Files
All-North Suncoast baseball player Christian Arroyo 18, on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Times Files

Photos: Who the Rays received for Longoria

The Rays acquired former Hernando High School star Christian Arroyo and ex-Tampa Catholic standout Denard span in the trade that sent franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants.

Related: Evan Longoria trade: Dealing Longo for a Longo fan

Longoria’s greatest moments

Rays fans reach out for autographs from Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) before the game. Times files
Rays fans reach out for autographs from Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) before the game. Times files

1. 2011: Game 162 homer: Joining Bobby Thomson as the only players to hit walkoff homers in the final regular season games to put their teams into the postseason is pretty good company. That it was Longoria’s second homer of the game and in the 12th inning of a game the Rays trailed 7-0 made it even more dramatic. (That the day after starting just the third triple play in franchise history.)

2. 2008: Postseason smash: As if debuting in the majors, signing a long-term big-bucks deal, getting voted to the All-Star Game and posting numbers good enough to later win the AL Rookie of the Year Award wasn’t enough of a 2008 debut, Longoria was a big hit when he got to the postseason. He homered on his first two swings in the Division Series opener, and six times overall in the postseason, a record for any rookie.

3. 2017: Cycle time: Longoria showed some unexpected speed and got some help from the replay system on Aug. 1 in Houston in becoming the second player in franchise history to hit for the cycle, joining B.J. Upton with a feat about as rare as a no-hitter.

4. 2008: For the defense: The skills that would lead to Longoria winning three Gold Gloves were evident early, including the introduction of what became his signature play, charging in to field a bunt barehanded and throwing out the runner. More so in this June 17, 2008, it was against the high-flying Cubs and Lou Piniella, and it was the final out — a walkoff defensive play.

5. 2006: For introductions: We defer to Longoria to include this one, more so than his three-homer games, All-Star Game feats, 2013 Game 163 homer at Texas, even catching the final out of the playoffs clincher in 2008. This was Longoria’s first day as a pro, when he took BP at the Trop and did so poorly, hitting “maybe two balls out of the infield,’’ he acknowledged anyone watching had to be wondering how in the world he was the No. 3 pick in the draft. “I’ve talked about that moment probably more than any other,’’ he said.

- Marc Topkin


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