Heyman | Rays trade Evan Longoria to Giants

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The Rays traded perhaps the greatest player in franchise history, Evan Longoria, to the Giants for Denard Span, Christian Arroyo and two pitching prospects.

Pitchers Matt Krook and Stephen Woods will also be heading to Tampa, along with Arroyo. He's been awarded three Gold Gloves, was the 2008 American League Rookie of the Year and has hit over 20 home runs in nine of his 10-year career - career high 36 in 2016.

The Giants are hoping that Longoria can bounce back from a tough 2017 season that saw him post a.261/.313/.424 line with 20 homers and 86 RBI.

With the deal, the Giants fill a need a third base. The Giants sent third baseman Matt Duffy to the Rays for left handed starter Matt Moore at last season's trade deadline.

The Rays wisely looked to shop Longoria this winter while he still had trade value, as their primary goal was to get out from under the $86 million remaining on his contract through the 2023 season.

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It's the type of "creative" trade Evans said the team needed to make at the outset of the offseason, and there's no doubt that San Francisco's situation at third base improves immediately.

Getting Span as part of the deal will offset some of the payroll flexibility the Rays gained by trading Longoria.

Over the course of his 10-year Rays career, Longoria was an incredibly productive player, even managing to earn some All-Star nods and MVP consideration along the way. Tampa Bay will give the Giants $2 million by this December 31 to cover Longoria's assignment bonus and an additional $3 million by October 31, 2022. 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. Longoria represents a significant upgrade both offensively and defensively, but how much of one is he going to be will depend on which Longoria shows up. However, Span has just one more year on his contract, so he will be off their books by 2019. Longoria ended that season in the World Series.

It was not just the Giants who were reportedly paying close attention to Longoria. Meanwhile, the Giants added the veteran hit they've been seeking all offseason. He was instrumental to the success the team saw over the past decade, but a team without resources to add and clearly behind the Yankees and Red Sox retreat into rebuild mode and bid farewell to one of the best.