Tampa Rays lock up Longoria well ahead of schedule

English: Evan Longoria

English: Evan Longoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Evan Longoria was already signed for several seasons at a clubhouse friendly deal. He had already shown that he has a propensity to get hurt, but when on the field he presented value on both sides of the ball. Today, Tampa decided they would jump the gun and lock him up before someone else fell in love with him like everyone has with Justin Upton.

FACT: Longoria has had injury issues. His 2012 season was a mess and showed you that baseball isn’t won by 1 player, however it can be greatly affected by a really good one.

FACT: Evan Longoria isn’t just an offensive player. He’s an incredible defender when healthy. Looking at 2008-2011 numbers, Longoria was comparable to Adrian Beltre on defense.

FACT: With this deal, one maybe, (likely?) two of their starters will be dealt. David Price is as good as gone. Also James Shields probably has his bag packed.

GUESS: Andrew Friedman had a book written about him called “The Extra 2%” by Jonah Keri, you should read it. However, this is risky with a player of his injury history.

GUESS: Without Longoria, offensive players who legitimately care about winning wouldn’t sign there.

GUESS (educated): The Rays know their window is NOW, not later. Their draft picks are sliding down as they become successful, and in return they have the same amount of money they have always had (not much).

FACT: Even if Friedman plays it perfectly, there’s no telling if their market will even respond.

Are you sure you still want to be a baseball GM? All I know is that the situation in Tampa just got more complicated, not simpler. Which is exactly why I predict a Tampa all-in movement between 2013/2014. It’s a perfect storm between two genius GM’s in Alex Anthopoulos & Andrew Friedman.

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