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MLB Roundup 12/21: Evan Longoria traded to the Giants

The all-time Ray is no longer a Ray

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Evan Longoria traded from Tampa Bay to San Francisco

The Rays haven’t quite been around long enough for there to be a whole lot of true legends in their franchise’s history, particularly when you consider their financial situation. It’s this that makes it necessary for them to trade most every star that comes their way at some point or another. Evan Longoria seemed different, as he had been the face of the franchise since the moment he came up in 2008. He was also much more affordable than his talent-level would suggest after signing multiple club-friendly deals over his career and leaving countless millions on the table to stay with the Rays. Still, push came to shove and Tampa decided to deal him anyway, sending him to the Giants on Wednesday. On the one hand, Longoria is likely at least a little excited to go to a franchise with more resources and more of a recent legacy. On the other hand, Tampa is all Longoria had known and he was noticeable upset when reacting to the trade. This is good news for Red Sox fans as a division rival got rid of an objectively great player, even if he’s not the player he once was. It’s bad news for baseball fans, though, as Longoria always seemed like one of those Hall of Fame type players who would stay with one team for his entire career. He still may be on a Cooperstown-track — it’s close, but not guaranteed — but he won’t be one of the rare ones.

Zach Britton ruptures his ACL

Longoria wasn’t the only top-level AL East player in the news on Wednesday, as Zach Britton also caught some headlines shortly before the Longoria trade was announced. The Orioles closer, and one of the truly elite relievers in the game, suffered a ruptured ACL while working out and will miss at least six months. The Orioles have a good enough bullpen with Brad Brach and Mychal Givens, among others, to make it through this kind of injury. On the other hand, they were fringe contenders before this and with some other American League teams taking legitimate leaps forward this year an injury like this could be the inciting incident to inspire a truer rebuild. Of course, it’s the Orioles, so probably not.

  • A couple of mid-tier first baseman signed on Wednesday, following Mitch Moreland in free agency. The first was Matt Adams, a decent power hitter who hasn’t really been a full-time player much in his career. He signed a one-year deal with the Nationals worth $4 million.
  • Later in the night, Yonder Alonso signed a new deal with the Indians. This was a contract I was fascinated to see, as Alonso is an interesting player. He was relatively highly thought of coming up, then never really put it all together with the Padres, particularly in the power department. Then, in 2017, he broke out in all areas and was one of the biggest stories in the first half of the year. That was enough to get him two years and $16 million guaranteed. He certainly has more upside than Moreland, but I understand the Red Sox preferring the safety of their guy for a few million less.