Over the weekend, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Giants had some level of interest in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, and following up on that report, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Giants have “keen interest” in swinging a deal for the Tampa Bay cornerstone. However, in order for any deal to work, Nightengale notes that the Giants would need the Rays to take the contract of either Hunter Pence or Denard Span back from the Giants in the deal. Taking on either of those contracts would be a fairly tall order for the cost-conscious Rays. Pence is entering the final season of a five-year, $90MM contract and is owed $18.5MM in 2018 — more than the $13.5MM that Longoria is set to take home this coming season. Obviously, taking on Pence’s deal would still provide the Rays with long-term cost savings — Longoria is owed $86MM over the next five years — but the short-term complications in that scenario are readily apparent. Taking on Span’s deal would be closer to a cash-neutral proposition. He’s owed a $9MM salary plus a $4MM buyout in the coming year, though he will also reportedly be paid a deferred $3MM from his signing bonus come Jan. 20, 2018 as well, so even that scenario could require the Rays to take on some additional 2018 dollars. Of course, if the Rays are to take on any salary in return, even a portion of one of those two deals, that’d give GM Erik Neander, senior VP Chaim Bloom and the rest of the front office greater cause to increase their ask in terms of prospects from a Giants system that is thin on upper-tier talent.
Report: Giants have 'keen' interest in Evan Longoria
MLB Trade Rumors | Dec 18