Would The Rays Consider Moving Evan Longoria?

By David Hill

Throughout the fifteen years that the Tampa Bay Rays have been a major league franchise, Evan Longoria has been one of the best players in team history. Longoria ranks second in both overall and offensive wins above replacement, with 27.1 and 20.2 respectively, just behind Carl Crawford despite having roughly half the plate appearances Crawford had. Defensively, Longoria is considered the best defensive player in Rays history, coming in at a solid 8.3 WAR. Fairly impressive for a player that has been in the majors for only four and a quarter seasons.

In his first four seasons, Longoria has been a three time All-Star, a Rookie of the Year, a two time Gold Glove winner, and has finished in the top 10 in the MVP voting twice. Longoria also happens to be signed through 2013, with three team options that can lock him up through 2016, at which point, he will still be only 30 years old.

Recently, FanGraphs put out their Top 50 trade pieces for 2012. After three years atop the list, Longoria dropped down to fourth, partly from his injury plagued season, and the impressive seasons of Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout. Given that the Rays are known to be keeping every possible option open, and that they are not averse to making a surprise move, could the Rays even consider moving Longoria?

While any player could theoretically be had for the right price, it is exceedingly difficult to picture the Rays moving one of the best players in franchise history, especially since he is one of the few players that have produced offensively this season. Even though there may not be a zero percent chance of the Rays trading Longoria this season, the odds are likely as close to zero percent as to be negligible.

To even consider moving Longoria at this point, the Rays would likely need to receive a Godfather offer – a package of players that would be insane to turn down. Forget about just winning the trade; the Rays likely would need to fill multiple holes in the lineup now, and get top prospects as well.

Despite being considered one of the top trade chips in baseball, Evan Longoria is likely to remain a member of the Tampa Bay Rays for the foreseeable future.