Third Baseman Evan Longoria has been the face of the Tampa Bay Rays since emerging in 2008 – already, he has been a three-time All-Star, won Rookie of the Year, won a Gold Glove, and was on a cover of a baseball video game. Though the Rays signed him in 2008 to a six-year contract, those years went by fast since the year 2013 approaching. Once again, it seemed as though the Rays were going to lose another outstanding player due to money. Then to the surprise of every baseball fan, it was announced at the end of November that the Rays and Longoria agreed to a $100 million contract that would keep him in Tampa Bay through 2023, meaning that Longoria was going to be a Ray for the rest of his career. He would be the first player in Rays’ short history to be a career player and in a time of free-agency, that he is very rare.
“I always wanted to be kind of a benchmark player . . . the guy that you could think about or associate with the organization. My goal from Day One was to be the first player that played their whole career here, to be the first guy that came into the organization and went out in the organization, and played all the years in between. There’s no better place for me,” says Longoria (Evan Longoria agrees to $100m).
What this means is that the Rays will once again have a shot at a World Series ring and can build a team around their outstanding pitchers and Evan Longoria. The Rays now need a power hitter that can be behind Longoria in the line-up to protect him. Longoria’s contract also means that the Rays will continue to have fans since they now know that the organization is willing to invest in the team. It also means that everyone in my family is getting a Longoria jersey for Christmas since Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and B.J. Upton are gone.