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.
The Giants are hoping that Longoria can bounce back from a tough 2017 season that saw him post a.261/.313/.424 line with 20 homers and 86 RBI.
"Evan gives us a Gold Glove-caliber player at third base and also provides us a middle of the order presence in the lineup", Giants general manager Bobby Evans said. The franchise has always been high on Arroyo -and at some level it was a victory for San Francisco to avoid trading 2017 first round draft choice Heliot Ramos- but trading a player many people within the organization considered the third baseman of the future is a sign Evans and Co. are feeling the heat to win now.
Longoria, 32, has $86-million and five years remaining on a deal he signed with the Rays, with a 2023 option that could push the total to $94-million.
"Evan is our greatest Ray", owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement.
Adding cash to sweeten the deal and taking on Span's contract ultimately helped the Rays nab Arroyo.
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There is a clear point of delineation in the fortunes of Tampa Bay's Major League Baseball franchise, a split that can be summed up by one word, and one player. Tampa Bay must take on the past year of outfielder Denard Span's contract, which is for $9 million. "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".
After making a concerted effort to land a marquee player this offseason, the San Francisco Giants have finally succeeded.
The Rays bid farewell to Longoria with this tweet: "We salute our greatest ever".
It was not just the Giants who were reportedly paying close attention to Longoria.
Unlike other teams that might have gone in the opposite direction, the Giants' response to last season's bottoming-out has been to think big for 2018.
The Rays also agreed to acquire outfielder Denard Span, 33, who has one year and $13 million left on his contract. The Giants went 64-98 to avoid the club's first 100-loss season since 1985.