5 Free Agents The Tampa Bay Rays Should Be Targeting
By Austin Hart
3B Evan Longoria
Now you KNOW this guy had to make the list. Evan Longoria, highly regarded as one of the greatest Rays to go through this organization, would be an awesome story to bring back to Tampa Bay. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Giants were likely to decline his option for 2023, making him an interesting idea for the Rays to scoop up and possibly allow him to finish out his career as a Ray.
You can find more about his offensive production in San Francisco in this article by RCG's very own Matthew Creally, but essentially, he's been a solid hitter overall, as he used to be for the Rays. The power stroke is still there, though defensively he's not quite as dependable as he was. Injuries have been a problem for him as a Giant as well, but I think this is where the Rays could come in. Longoria could serve as the designated hitter most days for the Rays, as I believe they would intend on keeping Yandy Díaz around at third base for his defensive skills and keen eye at the plate. This way, hopefully the wear and tear on his body would be limited by getting to just focus on hitting in a park he's extremely familiar with.
A reunion with Longo would hopefully be a great boost to fandom in Tampa Bay as well, with a fan favorite returning to the franchise after five years away. He's been in the league for 15 years now and most would believe he's nearing the end of his career and eyeing retirement, so I say what better team for him to finish out his great career than the one that gave him his start.