Evan Longoria is a former All-Star, Gold Glover and Silver Slugger. He also may become available this Winter with the Tampa Bay Rays looking to shed some payroll. MLB Network speculated that everyone but Matt Moore and Alex Cobb could be made available this offseason by Tampa. Well, if they’re looking to shed payroll, why not start with their most expensive player?
Longoria is currently 29, and would instantly solve the Astros third base dilemma for many years to come, having signed a contract through 2022, with a team option for 2023. If Longo were to stay through 2022, he would be 36 years old by the time the contract was up, and would be owed $116.5M, or roughly a $14.5 AAV.
The past two seasons have been kind to Evan Longoria, with health playing a key role in his production. That production includes 54 home runs, 179 rbi, and a .261 batting average over that two year span, while playing in 160 and 162 games.
Obviously the Astros would have to give up some value to acquire Longoria. A logical starting point for a potential trade would be Matt Dominguez. With Longoria in the fold, Dominguez would become expendable, but also has some potential upside that the Rays could be excited about.
Another piece that would likely be included is the highly touted, former #1 overall pick, Mark Appel. The Rays love one thing, and that is young pitching. Appel certainly fits the bill. The 23-year old righty had an up and down 2014 season in the minors, but ended on a high note in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 2.61 ERA in 31 innings over seven starts.
There would likely be another couple of pieces involved in any potential deal, but that would be a solid starting point.
The big question for Astros’ fans is would you do this deal? It certainly doesn’t fit into the mold of “the process” and would include trading away Appel, who could be a top-of-the-rotation starter for years to come in Houston. Does Evan Longoria’s injury history scare you? Do you want to hold true to the process, or is it time to shake things up a tad and go after a big name? A move like this could lure free agents, present and future, to Houston. The Astros have the pieces to make this trade work, but is it worth it?