The Giants have traded for third baseman Evan Longoria, acquiring the former All-Star for Christian Arroyo, Stephen Woods, Matt Krook, and Denard Span. The Giants won’t get younger, but parting with Span will allow them to make more moves and stay under the luxury tax. The Giants will also receive salary relief from the Rays to help with Longoria’s contract, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Young teams are overrated, really.
Longoria is 32, and he has five years left on his contract. His adjusted OPS and on-base percentage were the worst of his career, so there is reason for concern. Of the major leaguers in the deal, Span actually had the highest slugging percentage last year, which isn’t promising.
However! Longoria has been at least a three-win player for his entire career. His defense is still excellent, as he won a Gold Glove last year, and he has the rare sixth tool of staying healthy. Just like Hunter Pence did until he was Longoria’s age. But the Giants were determined to add right-handed power, and this was how they were able to do it and stay under the fake salary cap at the same time. He’s owed $86 million for the next five years, but Span’s contract and the cash will help pay that down quite a bit.
Arroyo was supposed to be an infielder of the future, the heir to the Giants’ tradition of gritty line-drive middle infielders. He’s obviously the centerpiece of the deal, and his inclusion is likely what compelled the Rays to take back Span and add cash to the deal.
Krook and Woods are both hard-throwing, zone-missing prospects. Krook was a projected first-round pick who slipped after miserable year at Oregon, and the left-hander has always received solid scouting reports. Woods, a right-hander, was originally drafted by the Rays out of high school, and he was taken in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.
It’s at least a little funny that over the last two years, the Giants have acquired both of the Rays’ players who used to be on contracts that made the rest of the league jealous, well after they stopped making the league jealous. It’s possibly a lot funny. It’s extremely Giants.
While I’m not wild about the idea of a 36-year-old Longoria making $15 million and clomping around third base in a few years, it is nice that the Giants will still have money to spend under the luxury tax, and they are unquestionably better than they were yesterday, when Pablo Sandoval was the projected starter.
Really, they’re more like a 92-loss team now. Progress!
Longoria has been an excellent player for a long time, though, so while this isn’t a Giancarlo Stanton trade, at least, uh, I got distracted and can’t figure out a way to end this sentence on a positive note. But Longoria has been good for over a decade. That part is fun.
I’ll miss Arroyo, though. I have a feeling the Giants will, too.