In a surprising move, the Giants traded for third baseman Evan Longoria. Can he bring his power and consistency to the Bay Area in 2018?
We see the Miami Marlins trading away pieces in order to cut costs. Now, the other Florida team traded away their main attraction. The Tampa Bay Rays traded star third baseman Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants for Christian Arroyo and others. Longoria has been a top third baseman for years and will now hit in the middle of the lineup of another struggling team.
The Giants did not have the best team in baseball last year, to say the least. They finished 23rd in batting average, 29th in RBI and 29th in on-base percentage. The addition of Longoria bodes well for the rest of the Giants lineup to improve those numbers.
Longoria has played in at least 156 games in the last five seasons. He played in 74 games in 2012. Numbers-wise, last season was a bit of a down year for Longoria. He hit 20 home runs, 86 RBI and .261, all below his performance over the previous two seasons.
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One thing worth noting is that Longoria has not had a plate appearance in AT&T Park. All six of his games against the Giants have been in Tampa Bay. He does have some experience in Dodger Stadium, Chase Field and Coors Field.
On paper, the new Giants lineup looks good enough to compete this year. Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Brandon Crawford and now Longoria. However, the starting offense is an average age of 29.8 years old.
All of those names will get a huge boost from Longoria joining the team. Posey is no longer the only big-name bat in the lineup. That was his downfall last year. Fantasy owners drafted Posey early because of position scarcity but he did not put up the numbers we were accustomed to.
Before this news broke, I had Longoria as my No. 14 third baseman. With a (somewhat) better team around him, I feel comfortable moving him up a couple of spots. While he is still not a starter in standard leagues, he breaks through in 12-team leagues and will be worth a corner infield spot in most leagues.
Entering 2018, Longoria will be worth an 10th-round pick in standard leagues, or at least a 100.0 ADP. Looking at the rest of the third basemen, Longoria is at the top of the the third tier.
In return, the Rays received major leaguers Arroyo and Denard Span along with young pitchers Stephen Woods and Matt Krook. I suggest you stay away from the two fielders and wait for Woods to make his debut in a couple of years.
Longoria is already 32 years old with 10 years experience. The Giants are not going to be successful this season but Longoria’s fantasy value does not drop as a result of the move. I project a .268/23 HR/75 RBI season from the veteran.