Could Evan Longoria be heading to the Bronx?
Why would the Yankees, who have just acquired Giancarlo Stanton’s mammoth contract, want to commit to a long-term contract with Evan Longoria, who is due to make $13.67 million in 2017 and more than $80 million through 2022 his age 36 season? Well, YesNetwork.com reports that “the Yankees are among the four likeliest teams to make a move for Longoria” and, it should be noted that Rays’ GM Erik Neander has said he is not philosophically opposed to trading with other American League East teams. Let the negotiations begin!
First, who would have thought Evan Longoria, a player whom the Tampa Bay Rays have committed to with two long term contract extensions, would be on the trading block? However, according to Marc Topkin, beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times:
“As much as it understandably would pain Rays fans, execs with several other teams expect Longoria to be dealt before he gains no-trade status in April. Circumstances are much different, but the Stanton situation had to be a lesson.”
Longoria’s contract with the Rays is 15 years/$144 million through 2022 with a team option in 2023 and a no-trade clause which kicks in at the start of April, 2018. Are the Rays overreacting to the Stanton trade? Probably. Whatever the case may be, Longoria is in the midst of a borderline Hall of Fame career. Though the veteran had a tepid season at the plate, he has been durable and mostly productive for some time now. In 2017, Longoria hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs and won his third Gold Glove. There’s no doubt Longoria would be an upgrade over Todd Frazier, who, it is rumored, the Yankees are talking about re-signing. Frazier’s 2017 numbers offensively were .213/.344/.428 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs. While Frazier did hit for slightly more power than Longoria, Longoria hit for average and drove in more runs, not to mention Longoria’s superior defensive ability.
Rumors have swirled around Yankees number five prospect, Miguel Andujar, who has been said is ready to swing the bat, but needs more work defensively to be the every day third baseman. Andujar is the Yankees best in-house third base prospect and their most advanced. Between Double-A and Triple-A last season, Andujar hit .315 with 16 homers and a .850 OPS. According to a scouting report from MLB.com, “He has the upside of a .270 hitter capable of 20 homers on an annual basis. Andujar, it must be pointed out, is unproven, and more, is unproven at a position he is not yet adept at.
An infield defense such as the experienced Longoria would bring, would help ensure more wins behind one of the best pitching staffs in the league. Bringing Longoria in would solidify an infield that could become one of the top in the league and propel the Yankees into the World Series.
-Chris Northrop (@ringoangel653)
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