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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: EVAN LONGORIA VALUE GOES UNCHANGED IN MOVE TO SAN FRAN

The Tampa Bay Rays cashed in their Evan Longoria chips on Wednesday as they agreed to trade their former three-time All-Star to the San Francisco Giants in a package that contains veteran/aging outfielder Denard Span and top shortstop prospect Christian Arroyo. While they continue to struggle drawing fans to their ballpark, the Rays reminded everyone why they are arguably the smartest organization in baseball by selling high Longoria who hit just .261 with 20 home runs in 2017.  Consider that Longoria is getting a bit up there at 32, has seen his speed vanish, and put forth a loss of 16 home runs from the year prior in almost the same amount of at-bats and one can see how good of a deal this was for the Rays as they nab the universally acclaimed Arroyo. 

In terms of Longoria, there is no doubt the former first-round pick was once a big stud in the fantasy baseball game.  That was when Longoria hit 30 home runs, batted around .280, and stole 10 or so bases.  The steals have dried up completely though and Longoria has seen his average come in at .270 or below in four of the last five seasons.  While he retains decent power, Longoria also will be more prone to injury at the age of 32 and with the wear-and-tear of playing third base.  With regards to 2018 fantasy baseball, Longoria is still an everyday option in 12-team mixed leagues but at the very bottom of that list and ideally is a backup.  There are just so many younger and power-packed third baseman that have flooded the position the last two seasons that Longoria would only be for those who choose to wait until the late rounds to address the spot.

Meanwhile, Arroyo is a major prize for the Rays as the slick-fielding shortstop is already turning heads.  Still just turning 23 in May, Arroyo could challenge to make the Opening Day roster this spring.  Just keep in mind that Arroyo's offensive game is not there yet as he grows into his power and he doesn't walk much (just 5.9 BB/9 both at Triple-A and in a cup of coffee debut with the Giants a year ago).  Hold off on going with Arroyo in mixed league drafts this spring but he should be on your watch list. 


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