Diamondbacks Sign Evan Longoria

The Arizona Diamondbacks made a surprise splash in the free agent market on Friday, reportedly signing veteran third baseman Evan Longoria to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of MLB.com first broke the news of the acquisition. Signing Longoria gives the D-Backs a much-needed veteran presence to go with their young, talented group.

The deal is worth $4 million of guaranteed money and a potential $1 million in bonuses, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

Longo’s Career

Longoria, a three-time All-Star, is no stranger to the NL West. He spent the last five seasons with the San Francisco Giants. Seeing Longoria in action against the D-Backs may have influenced their decision to sign him. He owns a .780 career OPS against Arizona, with 12 homers and 42 RBI in 62 games.

The 37-year-old began his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, quickly establishing himself as their franchise player. He won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2008, helping the Rays to a World Series appearance after a woeful first decade. Following two more All-Star seasons, the most memorable moment in Longo’s career came at the end of 2011.

He hit an extra-inning walk-off homer in game 162 to power the Rays past the Boston Red Sox for the AL Wild Card. Not only did Tampa Bay trail Boston by nine games at the start of September, they trailed the New York Yankees 7-0 late in that game. Longoria set many offensive franchise records during his decade in Tampa. He also won three Gold Gloves in his career and hit for the cycle in a 2017 game.

With San Francisco, Longoria did not put up the type of offensive numbers he did in Tampa. This was partly due to his long-term injuries over the last two seasons. However, he has remained a fairly steady hitter and an outstanding defender. For his career, Longo is a .265 hitter with 331 homers, 1,131 RBI, 1,883 hits, 992 runs scored, and an OPS of .806.

D-Backs Sign Evan Longoria

By signing Evan Longoria, the D-Backs are looking to add a vital ingredient for any team contending for the postseason: steady veteran leadership. The move should restore some morale to a clubhouse that likely needs it. The team recently traded Daulton Varsho, a dynamic young player who broke out last year with Arizona. Although they got a solid return, trading the up-and-comer was seen as a surprise.

Longoria should see plenty of action at the hot corner thanks to his elite defense. However, he may end up as the DH a decent amount. He will add yet more talent to a loaded D-Backs infield, joining the likes of Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, and Nick Ahmed. With such a promising group in place, Arizona should be that much closer to contending in the NL West.

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Players mentioned:

Evan Longoria, Daulton Varsho, Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, Nick Ahmed