Evan Longoria, widely viewed as a fit for the St. Louis Cardinals and their pursuit of a big bat at third base, is off the trade table.
The San Francisco Giants found the offense-producing third baseman they sought this offseason, acquiring Evan Longoria and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday for outfielder Denard Span, infielder Christian Arroyo and two minor league pitchers.
The 32-year-old Longoria leaves Tampa Bay as the longest-tenured player in franchise history, after spending nearly 10 seasons in a Rays uniform. He is the club’s all-time leader with 1,435 games played, 261 home runs and 892 RBIs. Of the 30 postseason games in Rays history, all 30 have featured Longoria starting at third base.
Longoria batted .261 with 20 homers and 86 RBIs last season. He is expected to fill a significant void for San Francisco at third, where the Giants mixed and matched during a surprising last-place season in 2017. Longoria has played at least 156 games in each of the past five seasons. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2008 and won three Gold Gloves.
“Evan gives us a Gold Glove-caliber player at third base and also provides us a middle of the order presence in the lineup,” Giants general manager Bobby Evans said. “His durability and leadership will strengthen our club moving forward.”
The Cardinals have been connected to the Rays through their interest in closer Alex Colome and their desire to add a big bat to the middle of the lineup. Longoria seemed a good fit for the Cardinals since their offseason shopping list includes a third baseman.
Longoria batted .261 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs in 2017. He also won his third American League Gold Glove at the hot corner.
He turned 32 in October and is under contract through 2023. The back-loaded contract pays him $13.5 million in 2018 and increases annually to $19.5 million in 2022 when he’s 36.
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 move fills an important need for our club and completes one of our offseason goals,” said Brian Sabean, Giants executive vice president of baseball operations. “Evan has been one of the best third basemen in the game over the last decade and we are thrilled to add him to the organization. Moving forward, we will continue to work on additional opportunities to improve the club for 2018.”
The Cardinals also have shown interest in Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and have reportedly been persistent in their pursuit of Toronto’s Josh Donaldson.
In an active offseason, St. Louis has added outfielder Marcell Ozuna, pitcher Miles Mikolas, and traded displaced outfielder Stephen Piscotty for prospects.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.