The San Francisco Giants made headlines Wednesday by acquiring former all-star third baseman Evan Longoria. This move will only pay off in the Dodgers’ favor.
The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have some parallels between them this offseason. Both teams missed out on Shohei Ohtani, both failed to capture Giancarlo Stanton and both have been otherwise inactive. The Giants broke that trend Wednesday by acquiring former all-star third baseman Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Longoria, who is entering his 11th season, is under team contract until 2022 with a team option for the 2023 season. In exchange for Longoria’s services, the Giants sent the Rays top prospect Christian Arroyo, Denard Span and two minor league players.
The Los Angeles Dodgers should be smiling from cheek to cheek after hearing the news of this deal.
This trade is absolutely horrible for the San Francisco Giants. First and foremost, Longoria is long removed from his prime of mashing balls in Tropicana Field. Longoria hit just .261 last season 20 home runs and 86 RBIs. Longoria’s WAR (according to FanGraphs) dipped from 4.5 in 2016 to 2.5 in 2017 — making him the 15h best third baseman.
Could this have just been a bad year for Longoria? Sure. However, the veteran third baseman is on the wrong side of 30 and will be entering 2018 at 32 years old. While that is not incredibly old in sports years, it is at the tail end of his athletic prime.
Longoria will not boost the Giants contention status, either. Sure, he is a better veteran piece who could add a couple wins to the team, but he is not an overpowering menace that will change the direction of the franchise. In fact, I would go as far to say that the Giants were better off with Arroyo playing third base. Arroyo is on the way up, Longoria is on the way down.
It does not help that the Giants have to pay Longoria for at least another five seasons. With Madison Bumgarner approaching free agency in 2020, the Giants need to save as much money as possible. They now have the largest payroll in baseball.
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And that is why the Los Angeles Dodgers should be happy. Will the Giants be better than last year? Of course. Even without Longoria, the Giants are too talented to only win 68 games. They still won’t be close to challenging for the NL West with so many powerhouses. Longoria does not change that at all.
Thus, the Giants just shot themselves in the foot. Not only are they setting themselves up for payroll issues in the future, they have one of the most depleted farm systems in baseball.
Unless they can manage an insane turnaround by signing every big name free agent one offseason, the Giants are setting themselves up to be at the bottom of the table for who knows how many years.
If you are a Dodger fan, baseball is better when the Giants are terrible. Although the Dodgers will still have their hands full with the Rockies and the Diamondbacks, it is always nice to see their biggest rival make bonehead decisions. This was a bonehead decision.
And if you are Andrew Friedman and the rest of the Dodgers’ front office, you can’t help but smile after seeing this deal.