Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • The Heater
  • Marc Topkin

Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Evan Longoria on the move?

 We don't know what moves the Rays will make this off-season, just that there will be some big ones as they look to cut payroll and decide whether to try to remain competitive or go for a rebuild. With the annual winter meetings next week at Disney, we are looking today at some of their hottest topics:

Trading 3B Evan Longoria would be the biggest headline the Rays could make this winter, short of a new stadium deal — in Tampa, St. Petersburg or (even bigger) somewhere else.

Longoria has been a face of their franchise and a cornerstone since arriving as a rookie in the 2008 season and starring for 10 seasons.

He is considered a team leader on and off the field, a consummate professional and a good representative in the community with a beautiful family. He has said repeatedly, including at the end of this past season, that he has no interest in going anywhere else and likes the idea of spending his whole career with one team. And he has shown that commitment is more than just talk with his actions, twice signing long-term deals that were considered at the time below market value and team friendly.

So why would the Rays trade him?

* Because, with his 2023 option, they still owe him $94-million, starting with a $13.5-million salary this season that dropping would cover a big chunk of their planned cut.

* Because, even though he won his third Gold Glove last season, he is 32 and coming off what he considers a very disappointing offensive season, hitting .261 with 20 homers, 86 RBIs and a .737 OPS and will have to prove he is not trending down.

* Because about 10 days into the 2018 season, he gets the benefit of no-trade protection by having spent 10 years in the majors and at least five with the same team, which could – though not necessarily significantly – limit the Rays options in the future.

* Because if they opt for a rebuild that some in the industry think makes sense they can frame trading Longoria as doing him a favor, allowing him the chance to be on a contender again, having missed the playoffs four straight years after playing into October four times in his first six, and not being about the money.

No teams have yet been directly connected with Longoria, though there's been some media chatter about the Cardinals and Mets.

Realistically, there's probably less than a dozen teams that would be in position to take on his contract, and fewer who have an opening at third base. But with the Rays being – at the least – open to talk about dealing him, expect to hear more, and soon.

Comments

Tampa Bay Rays make a small deal, acquire INF Joey Wendle

While continuing discussions on bigger topics, the Rays made a small deal Monday, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's for a player to be named later or cash.Wendle, 27, spent part of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 over 36 games. ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 6:14: The Rays continued talks with no major moves seemingly close, but did make a small deal, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's. Wendle, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 in 36 games. He is a lefty ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Published: 12/11/17
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Published: 12/11/17
AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

The Marlins apparently found a trade to Giancarlo Stanton's liking, reportedly striking a deal early Saturday to send the slugging outfielder to the Yankees.That's bad news for the Rays and the other AL East teams, who will now have to face Stanton &...
Published: 12/09/17
Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Tampa Bay Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed was up early Saturday to meet up with the Bladerunners team in Clearwater at the ALS Association Florida Chapter's annual Ride, Run, Roll to Defeat ALS, supporting Mike Leist, a former history teacher at St...
Published: 12/09/17
Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani decided on his team Friday, and it was something of a surprise as he opted to sign with the Angels.The Mariners and Padres had emerged as the favorites from the seven teams that were chosen, from the full fiel...
Published: 12/08/17
As Tampa Bay Rays head to winter meetings, they are open to “anything and everything” in terms of deals

As Tampa Bay Rays head to winter meetings, they are open to “anything and everything” in terms of deals

Tampa Bay Rays officials will head to next week's winter meetings at Disney eager to get started making moves and willing to consider just about anything – and trading anybody – that they feel makes sense."We have to be open," GM Erik Nea...
Published: 12/07/17
Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Joey Bats or Party at Napoli’s

Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Joey Bats or Party at Napoli’s

   We don't know what moves the Rays will make this off-season, just that there will be some big ones as they look to cut payroll and decide whether to try to remain competitive or go for a rebuild. With the annual winter meetings next week...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17
Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Flip or flop? Time for a rebuild?

Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Flip or flop? Time for a rebuild?

   We don't know what moves the Rays will make this off-season, just that there will be some big ones as they look to cut payroll and decide whether to try to remain competitive or go for a rebuild. With the annual winter meetings next week...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17