Astros Offseason Trade Target: Go Long for Evan Longoria?
By Eric Huysman
So far this offseason, the Astros have addressed some of their needs such as bullpen help and a consistent shortstop. Two items still remain: adding a major league ready middle of the rotation guy and/or a third baseman. While the Hamels rumors come and go, maybe we should focus on a team that is showing sings of a rebuild. The Tampa Bay Rays have traded David Price and Wil Myers within the past few months, and could be looking to move Evan Longoria.
I don’t normally like to write about something unless it is actually reported on Twitter as a possibility, but with a report written by Evan Drellich in today’s paper, that said “Jeff Luhnow says Marwin Gonzalez could be starter at third.” Marwin Gonzalez as a shortstop, okay I can live with that, but not as a third-baseman. Third base is supposed to be a power-generating position.
With Gregorio Petit being designated for assignment, the Spring training battle for third is with Matt Dominguez, Marwin Gonzalez, and Matt Duffy. With Colin Moran and Rio Ruiz a year or so away, who will step up to take the job for 2015?
Keep in mind, that Carlos Correa will probably arrive in the bigs either late 2015, or early 2016. Our new shortstop Jed Lowrie, whom the Astros signed for 3 years, would be then forced to third base. So are Moran and Ruiz blocked at third base until the 2018 season?
Those of you who have read my articles thus far, I have not been very high on Moran. He doesn’t hit for much power, and most scouting reports doubt he will become a productive major leaguer. Chris Carter might become too expensive for the Astros if he keeps hitting home runs, so maybe Rio Ruiz can take over at the designated hitter spot in 2018 if the Astros trade for a certain third baseman.
This might be a pipe dream, but could the Astros trade for Evan Longoria? I seriously doubt the Rays trade him, because he is literally the face of the franchise. He took the contract extension early in his career, which Wil Myers did not and ended up getting traded. Longoria is signed through 2023, with a remaining salary of $116.5 million over 9 years. The contract is very back loaded though, with him making the most when he’s older. He will be 36 or 37 when his contract expires, depending on how his option year works out. He has only been in the majors for 7 + years. Talk about a bargain compared to the contracts signed by Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley.
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Evan Longoria would really upgrade the position, and would be around as our prospects start getting gray hair as well. Longoria is injury prone, which could be an issue. As a fantasy baseball owner of Longoria, please don’t try to steal any more bases; chicks did the long-ball. With exception to an injury filled year in 2012, Longoria has hit more than 22 home runs and 85 RBIs each year, with a career 0.271 batting average.
What would it cost to trade for a reasonably salaried third baseman, who has 8-9 years left of control? Probably a lot more than a rumored Cole Hamels trade. Think something along the lines of Colin Moran, Domingo Santana, Mark Appel, Michael Feliz, and one other prospect. That’s a steep price in my eyes.
People on Twitter keep saying that the Astros should trade for Longoria. One thing you have to keep in your mind, why would the Rays even consider trading their Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio? Yes the Rays are starting to rebuild, but I see them rebuilding around Longoria.
The only way the Rays even consider that trade, is if they are literally blown away. Mortgaging the farm system as much as it would take to get Longoria will set the Astros “process” behind a year or so. Would the major league product be better? Yes, but at what cost? Even if we do trade for Longoria, where does Jed Lowrie play now when Carlos Correa comes up?
Bottom line is I don’t think Longoria gets traded, but it would be nice to see him in an Astros uniform! Instead, Houston should go for Hamels!
Want more on Cole Hamels?
Astros Going for Cole Hamels with “Untouchable” Prospect.