The hot stove just kicked up again, eh?
Per multiple reports, the Tampa Bay Rays are sending franchise third baseman Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants for infield prospect Christian Arroyo. The full details of the trade are still trickling out.
The Cardinals had reportedly been in on Longoria for a while, especially if paired in a deal with closer Alex Colome, but now you might see them even further step up their efforts to acquire someone like Josh Donaldson or Manny Machado.
As for the Giants, they wouldn’t be adding a 32-year-old Longoria (and his contract) if they weren’t intent on going for it in 2018 (though it’s debatable whether Longoria will bounce back from what looked like a serious decline year in 2017). More than that, they’re already at the luxury tax level, so the addition of Longoria – depending on any money in the deal – could put them past the point of being able to stay under the luxury tax in 2018. And if that’s the case, you might see them suddenly step up their pursuit for a top free agent target.
Update as I type: reports indicate Denard Span is also going to the Rays, which would offset almost all of the AAV for 2018 in Longoria’s deal, so this might not totally push the Giants in on free agency.
Source: Giants get Evan Longoria for Christian Arroyo, Denard Span, Matt Krook and Stephen Woods.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 20, 2017
The question now: is this the start of a broader sell-off for the Rays? They were already angling to move guys like Colome and Jake Odorizzi, but do they more seriously entertain offers for Chris Archer and Kevin Kiermaier now?
THINGS ARE FLYING AND IT’S HARD TO KEEP UP. But that’s just the way I want it this time of year.
UPDATE: It’s going to be very strange seeing him play in another uniform:
Longoria deal official. #Rays owner Sternberg in statement: “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.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 20, 2017