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Giants acquire Evan Longoria from Rays for 4 players

  • FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2011, file photo, Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria, center, celebrates with teammates Sean Rodriguez, left, and Elliot Johnson after his home run that defeated the New York Yankees 8-7 and clinched the AL wild card for the Rays, after a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) Chris O'Meara

  • FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2017, file photo, Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria follows through on a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the third inning of a baseball game, in Baltimore. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File) Gail Burton

  • FILe - This is a June 7, 2006, file photo showing Tampa Bay Devil Rays' third pick overall in the 2006, Evan Longoria, taking a look around Tropicana Field for the first time in a Devil Rays uniform, St. Petersburg, Fla. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Audette, File) SCOTT AUDETTE

  • FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2008, file photo, Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria makes a curtain call in the seventh inning as fans applaud his third home run of the baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson, File) Mike Carlson

  • FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2017, file photo, San Francisco Giants' Denard Span watches his RBI double during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, in San Diego. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez, File) Orlando Ramirez

  • FILE - In this May 20, 2017, file photo, San Francisco Giants' Christian Arroyo drives in two runs with a double in the 13th inning during a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, in St. Louis. At right are Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File) Chris Lee

  • FILE- In this July 7, 2017 file photo, San Francisco Giants' Denard Span celebrates after hitting a home run against the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File) Ben Margot

  • FILE - This is a 2017 photo showing Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) David Goldman

  • FILE - In this May 3, 2017, file photo, San Francisco Giants' Christian Arroyo reacts after striking out during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, in Los Angeles. The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers. The teams announced the moves Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File) Mark J. Terrill



Associated Press
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO – Evan Longoria expects to win immediately with the San Francisco Giants, whose run of success in even years is well documented – and the club’s new third baseman knows all about that.

The Giants’ brass realizes adding Longoria to the lineup and an already-talented infield gives San Francisco a far better chance of bouncing back from a surprising last-place season in the NL West.

An offense-producing third baseman the Giants sought this winter, Longoria was traded from Tampa Bay on Wednesday for outfielder Denard Span, star infield prospect Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers.

“I’m looking forward to bringing everything I can and more to the clubhouse and the organization and being back in the postseason and winning like I expect to do,” Longoria said. “It’s an even year coming up and I know the Giants win in even years. That I am looking forward to.”

The position had been a priority for San Francisco, and Longoria’s durability means so much, too. He has played at least 156 games in each of the past five years, all 162 in 2014, and also hit 20 or more homers in each of those five seasons.

“He’s sorely needed and will be a great addition for us,” Giants general manager Bobby Evans said.

It marked the first big offseason move by each organization.

Tampa Bay in effect is responsible for $14.5 million of the $88 million Longoria is owed, and the Rays took on $13 million in guaranteed money due Span.

Longoria had $86 million in remaining guaranteed salary and buyout as part of a contract that runs through 2022 and contains a 2023 club option. The $9.5 million in deferred money included in that total was converted to an assignment bonus payable by the Rays from 2025-29. Tampa Bay will give the Giants $2 million by this Dec. 31 to cover Longoria’s assignment bonus and an additional $3 million by Oct. 31, 2022.

The 32-year-old leaves Tampa Bay as the longest-tenured player in franchise history, after spending 10 of his big league seasons in a Rays uniform. He is the club’s leader with 1,435 games, 261 home runs and 892 RBI. Longoria started all 30 of the Rays’ postseason games at third.

Longoria batted .261 with 20 homers and 86 RBI last season. His accolades include 2008 AL Rookie of the Year and three Gold Gloves.

Longoria grew up in Southern California as an Angels fan but has plenty of friends who cheer for the rival Dodgers. “I’m going to be saying a lot of ‘sorries.’ ”

Also, he’s getting off turf, noting, “I’m excited to be playing on grass.”

In November 2012, Longoria received a $136.6 million, 10-year contract with Tampa Bay that added six guaranteed seasons and $100 million to his previous deal. If exercised, the option would make the agreement worth $144.6 million over 11 years.

Rays general manager Erik Neander said trading Longoria “was in the best long-term interest of our franchise.”

Still, he was the face of a small-market franchise and meant so much to the city.

“The decision itself was one that was incredibly difficult for us to make,” Neander said.

The 33-year-old Span has hit .283 with 60 homers and 432 RBI over 10 years in the majors, but San Francisco was looking for more athleticism and steady defense in the outfield. In fact, manager Bruce Bochy had approached Span about the possibility of playing left field going forward. Span led the Giants last season with 73 runs scored despite a stint on the 10-day disabled list. He previously played for the Nationals and the Twins.

Bochy expects Longoria to bat third or cleanup, and he can already envision Longoria as part of a top infield with Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawford, second baseman Joe Panik and Brandon Belt at first.

“When you talk about the elite third basemen of the game, Evan’s name is going to be there. He’s been one of the most consistent third basemen in the game,” Bochy said. “It’s going to be one of the best infield defenses in the game.”

Arroyo, a first-round draft pick out of high school in 2013 about an hour north of Tampa in Brooksville, Fla., was one of the Giants’ top prospects but didn’t play in the majors after June 2 because of a broken left hand. He batted .192 with three homers and 14 RBI in 34 games. The Rays have been watching him for years and believe he is making significant strides at the plate.

“That’s the cost of doing business,” Sabean said of sending Arroyo in the deal.

The Giants also sent right-hander Stephen Woods and left-hander Matt Krook to the Rays, who acquired third baseman Matt Duffy from the Giants at the 2016 trade deadline for Matt Moore. The left-handed Moore was dealt last week to Texas.

As part of the assignment bonus, Tampa Bay owes Longoria $1.5 million on Dec. 15, 2025, and $2 million on Dec. 15 in each of the following four years. San Francisco will pay Longoria salaries of $12 million next year, $12.5 million in 2019, $13 million in 2020, $16.5 million in 2021 and $17.5 million in 2022.

Span gets $9 million plus possible performance bonuses next year, and the Rays inherit a $12 million mutual option for 2019 with a $4 million buyout.

Longoria counts as $11,165,300 annually for the Giants’ luxury tax payroll and Span $13,333,333 for the Rays’ tax payroll. In addition, the Giants receive a $600,000 yearly credit for the cash transaction in the swap.

San Francisco, which won World Series titles in 2010, ’12 and ’14, made its first big offseason move after missing out on Giancarlo Stanton and Japanese star Shohei Ohtani. The Giants went 64-98 to avoid the club’s first 100-loss season since 1985.

“This is a long-awaited day in our offseason dealings. The organization just got better,” said Brian Sabean, Giants executive vice president of baseball operations. “Hopefully the fan base and our organization realizes this affirms our commitment to turn our fortunes around as soon as possible and specifically in the 2018 season. We check off a huge box with this acquisition. Evan is a known player and quite frankly, you look at his baseball card, we’re getting somebody who’s not only been an accomplished third baseman of note but hits in the middle of the order and improves our defense overnight.”