Sunday, December 12, 2010

Longoria Says He Wants to Stay in Tampa Bay

So far this offseason, all the Rays have managed to do is fall far behind the Red Sox and the Yankees in terms of talent and in terms of prospects for next season.  They lost star left fielder Carl Crawford to the Red Sox, team home run leader Carlos Pena to the Cubs, Jason Bartlett will most likely be traded to the Padres and six free agents relievers, including AL saves leader Rafael Soriano, could leave as well (reliever Joaquin Benoit already has).  Let's just say it hasnt been the best offseason to be a Tampa Bay fan.  However, star third baseman Evan Longoria has told the St. Petersburg Times that he would at least talk to the Rays about an extension that would keep in a Rays uniform for his entire career.

Umm... what is Longoria thinking?  I understand that there is something to be said for team loyalty.  I also understand that there are worse locations than St. Petersburg, Florida.  However, I still don't understand why Longoria would want to stay with the Rays.  They might have blown their best chance to win this past season, as they don't have the money to keep a solid roster around.  They always seem to have great prospects, but except for Longoria the lack of money has meant that Rays' management hasn't been able to keep good players around.  The Rays still have some good pieces for next season: David Price, Matt Garza, Jeremy Hellickson, Desmond Jennings and BJ Upton.  Longoria is also a perfect player to build around.  He has been an all-star in each of his three seasons and is signed through 2013.  However, the Rays will have to convince more players to take pay cuts in order to stay in Tampa long-term.  My guess, the Rays are an average team this upcoming season, more players leave and they will need to rebuild through the draft again.  I'd also bet on the fact that Longoria won't end his career in Tampa Bay.

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