After the Giants missed out on Giancarlo Stanton and many in the Bay have begun to get restless with the team, they made a splash on Wednesday. The Giants upgraded their 3B position by acquiring Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for Denard Span, Christian Arroyo, Stephen Woods and Matt Krook. First reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
The 32 year old Longoria will be leaving the Rays after spending the first 10 years of his career in Tampa. While in Tampa he was a 3 time all star and 3 time gold glove winner, winning the gold glove in 2017, while on his way to becoming the face of the Rays. He’ll now be joining the Giants who are in desperate need of some power and help at 3B. Even after his worst offensive season where he hit .261 with 20 home runs, it is an upgrade over the the entire group the Giants threw at 3B who hit .216. Longo may have struggled last season, but it wasn’t long ago, 2016, where he hit .276 with 36 homers. Sure the 36 homers isn’t likely in AT&T Park, but he is a career .270 hitter with 271 homers. Since 2013 he has been very reliable, playing at least 156 games a year and hitting at least 20 home runs.
In return for sending Longoria to the Giants, the Rays will receive veteran Denard Span, prospect Christian Arroyo and pitching prospects Stephen Woods and Matt Krook. Span is coming off a season where he hit .272 with 12 homers and 12 stolen bases in 129 games. The 33 year old Span will be owed $12M in 2018 with an option for 2019. The main attraction in this deal is Christian Arroyo who has skyrocketed through the minors. He battled some injuries in 2017, but he did hit .380 with 4 home runs in 28 games in the minors while he struggled in the bigs only hitting .192 with 3 home runs in 34 games. He is projected as a middle infielder, but could slide to 3B with the Rays who will have him under club control for 6 more seasons. The 2 pitching prospects spent this past season in Single A and have some time before they are an impact in the bigs. Stephen Woods is a 22 year old RHP who is a hard thrower, compiling a 2.95 ERA with a 9.2 K/9 and a 5.2 BB/9. Matt Krook is a LHP who had a 5.12 ERA with a 10.3 K/9 and a 6.5 BB/9. As you can see, they both have strikeout stuff with control issues and most are saying they may be bullpen pieces in the future.
The last piece of this deal is the salary relief the Giants will receive. Longoria will save them money in 2018 and the Rays are sending cash to the Giants as well. In the long run the Rays will be saving a ton with Arroyo and company, but for now this is the Giants way of improving the team while saving money to stay under the luxury tax. Next up the Giants will be in the market for an outfielder with Jay Bruce being the heavily rumored name. The Rays will be looking to unload everyone including Chris Archer, Alex Colome and many others.