Rays Trade Longoria to Giants
Evan Longoria is the longest-tenured player in franchise history, having spent 10 years with the Tampa Bay Rays.
ST. PETERSBURG – The Tampa Bay Rays have traded third baseman Evan Longoria and cash considerations to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo, minor league left-handed pitcher Matt Krook and minor league right-handed pitcher Stephen Woods Jr.
Longoria, 32, departs as the longest-tenured player in franchise history, after spending nearly 10 seasons in a Rays uniform. He is the club’s all-time leader with 1,435 games played, 261 home runs, 892 runs batted in, 338 doubles, 618 extra-base hits, 780 runs scored, 569 walks and 2,630 total bases. Of the 30 postseason games in Rays history, all 30 have featured Longoria in the starting lineup at third base.
“Evan is our greatest Ray. For a decade, he’s been at the center of all of our successes, and it’s a very emotional parting for us all,” Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg said. “I speak for our entire organization in wishing Evan and his wonderful family our absolute best.”
Longoria collected many awards over the course of his Rays career. In 2008, he was unanimously voted as the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, becoming the first Ray to win a national BBWAA award. He was selected as an American League All-Star in each of his first three seasons (2008, 2009, 2010). In 2009, he won the Silver Slugger Award for AL third basemen. In November, Longoria earned his club-record third Rawlings AL Gold Glove Award, after winning the honor in 2009 and 2010. He is one of only three active players to receive three Gold Glove Awards at third base, along with Adrián Beltré (five) and Nolan Arenado (five). He was also selected for numerous Rays honors by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the BBWAA, earning the Outstanding Rookie (2008), Don Zimmer Award (2013, 2016) as the Rays Most Valuable Player and Paul C. Smith Champion Award (2014, 2016) as the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field. Twice he was the Rays recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award (2014, 2017) for his sportsmanship, community involvement and contribution to the team.
Longoria was selected with the third overall pick of the 2006 June Draft out of Long Beach State University, becoming the very first player drafted by the current Rays ownership group. He made his major league debut on April 12, 2008, and later that year became only the sixth player in major league history to get an at-bat in the All-Star Game and World Series as a rookie. On September 20, 2008, he caught a foul pop-up from Minnesota’s Joe Mauer to clinch the first postseason berth in Rays history. He slugged six home runs in the 2008 postseason-a major league rookie record that stands to this day-and two of those came in his first two postseason at-bats.
On Sept. 28, 2011, the final game of the regular season, Longoria’s 12th-inning home run against the New York Yankees clinched the AL Wild Card. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became only the second player in major league history to hit a walk-off home run in his team’s final game of the regular season to clinch a postseason berth. The other was Bobby Thomson, whose “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” won the pennant for the 1951 New York Giants.
Longoria has hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons, and is one of only two third basemen in major league history to record 20 home runs in at least nine of his first 10 seasons in baseball. The other was Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, who did it in each of his first 14 seasons (1952-65), all with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves. He has made nine consecutive Opening Day starts at third base, the longest current streak of any third baseman. Over the last five seasons (2013-17), Longoria leads the majors with 798 games played, missing only 13 total games over that span.
Span, 33, is a 10-year major league veteran of the Minnesota Twins (2008-12), Washington Nationals (2013-15) and Giants (2016-17). He was born in Tampa and was selected by the Twins in the first round (20th overall) of the 2002 June Draft out of Tampa Catholic High School, where he played on the 2001 state championship team and was all-state as a junior and senior. He was inducted to Tampa Catholic’s Baseball Hall of Fame on February 10, 2010.
Over his 10 major league seasons, Span has hit .283/.348/.396 (1,384-for-4,889) with 243 doubles, 65 triples, 60 home runs, 432 runs batted in and 176 stolen bases. He is one of three National League outfielders with double-digit homers and steals in each of the last two seasons, joining Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon. He tied for the NL lead with 184 hits in 2014, led the NL with 11 triples in 2013 and tied for the AL lead with 10 triples in 2009.
In 2017, Span appeared in 129 games, made 116 starts (all in center field) and led the Giants with 73 runs scored despite a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a sternoclavicular joint sprain. He hit .272/.329/.427 (135-for-497) with 31 doubles, five triples, a career-high 12 home runs, 43 runs batted in and 12 stolen bases. Against right-handed pitchers, he hit .284/.339/.465 (111-for-391) with all 12 homers. In addition, he led the Giants (min. 75 at-bats) with a .345 (30-for-87) batting average with runners in scoring position. In June, he led the NL with 40 hits, batting .374/.427/.542 in 107 at-bats. On August 19 against the Philadelphia Phillies, he became the first player with a leadoff inside-the-park home run since Johnny Rucker did it for the New York Giants on June 20, 1945, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Arroyo, 22, is the top-ranked prospect in the Giants organization by MLB.com and ranks as the No. 4 prospect in the system by Baseball America. Born in Tampa, he was selected by the Giants in the first round (25th overall) of the 2013 June Draft out of Hernando High School in Brooksville, Fla. He began last season at Triple-A Sacramento and was selected to the major league roster after batting .439/.471/.682 (29-for-66) through 17 games in the minors. With the Giants, he appeared in 34 games, made 32 starts (21-3B, 9-SS, 2-2B) and hit .192/.244/.304 (24-for-125) with three home runs and 14 runs batted in. He was optioned back to Triple-A in early-June and appeared in eight additional games there before a broken left hand ended his season. He is expected to recover in time for Opening Day.
With his major league debut on April 24 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arroyo became the youngest (21 years, 329 days) to appear at third base for the Giants since Matt Williams in 1987. He recorded his first career hit the next day, a single off Dodgers lefthander and three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. His first career home run come on April 26 off Dodgers relief pitcher Sergio Romo. He also homered on April 28 against San Diego and on May 5 at Cincinnati off 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo, who-though unrelated-also attended Hernando High School and graduated one month after Christian was born.
In five minor league seasons, Arroyo has hit .300/.345/.434 (447-for-1,491) with 106 doubles, 11 triples, 24 home runs and 208 runs batted in. He won the Rookie-level Arizona League Most Valuable Player Award in 2013, was a midseason All-Star for Short-A Salem-Keizer in 2014, a postseason All-Star for Class-A San Jose in 2015 and a midseason All-Star for Double-A Richmond in 2016. Following the 2017 season, he was named by Baseball America as the Best Hitter for Average in the Giants organization.
Krook, 23, was selected by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2016 June Draft out of the University of Oregon. In two minor league seasons, he is 5-13 with a 5.25 ERA (132-IP, 77-ER) in 38 appearances (28 starts). In 2017, he made 25 appearances (17 starts) for Class-A San Jose, going 4-9 with a 5.12 ERA (91.1-IP, 52-ER) and 105 strikeouts, which ranked fifth among Giants minor leaguers. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 25 prospect in the Giants organization.
Woods Jr., 22, is 7-9 with a 3.04 ERA (145-IP, 49-ER) in two minor league seasons after signing with the Giants as an eighth-round selection in the 2016 June Draft out of the University of Albany. In 2017, he made 23 starts for Class-A Augusta, going 6-7 and ranking second among Giants minor leaguers in ERA (2.95) and strikeouts (113). He was originally selected by the Rays in the sixth round of the 2013 June Draft out of Half Hallow Hills East High School in Dix Hills, N.Y. but did not sign. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 29 prospect in the Giants organization.
For information about the Tampa Bay Rays, go to mlb.com.
Photo of Evan Longoria courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays.
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