Giants trade for Evan Longoria to upgrade hot corner

Why the Evan Longoria trade is just a short-term fix to the Giants' long-term problems

The Rays, in turn, receive top infielder prospect Christian Arroyo, minor league pitchers Matt Krook and Stephen Woods.

On the final day of the 2011 regular season, Longoria provided perhaps the most spellbinding moment in Tampa Bay baseball history, willing a home run just over the left-field fence at Tropicana Field to put the Rays in the playoffs for the third time in four years. He hit.261/.313/.424 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs last season with the Rays, which was his 10th year with the organization.

Longoria has played at least 156 games in each of the last five years, so the Giants are banking on his durability while hoping his power translates to a pitcher-friendly park. Pablo Sandoval and Kelby Tomlinson platooned at the position in 2017 for San Francisco, but neither player provided much at all offensively.

After weeks of courting former Miami Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the Giants turned their attention to addressing one of their primary offseason needs, adding a third baseman who can hit in the heart of their order.

The Rays wisely looked to shop Longoria this winter while he still had trade value, as their primary goal was to get out from under the $86 million remaining on his contract through the 2023 season.

"Evan is our greatest Ray", owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement.

As for the players the Rays are getting: Arroyo, an infielder, made his big league debut previous year and played 34 games. He was also awarded the Gold Glove for his defensive play at the hot corner. Longoria spent a decade in the majors with the Rays, taking home All-Star bids in each of his first three seasons as a big leaguer. Tampa Bay must take on the past year of outfielder Denard Span's contract, which is for $9 million.

It is the end of an era in Tampa Bay. "Evan has been one of the best third basemen in the game over the last decade, and we are thrilled to add him to the organization". Longoria ended that season in the World Series.

Longoria counts as $11,165,300 annually for the Giants' luxury tax payroll and Span $13,333,333 for the Rays' tax payroll. The Giants had been linked throughout the winter to free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, but signing him would have cost the Giants a 2018 draft pick and worldwide bonus-pool money - added costs they weren't willing to take on.

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