Veteran third baseman Evan Longoria continues to be “weighing his options” relating to his future forward of the 2024 season, based on Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Instances. Reporting again in October indicated that whereas the 38-year-old was undecided on his future, he was “leaning” in direction of enjoying in 2024.
A veteran of 16 MLB seasons, Longoria was chosen third general within the 2006 draft by the then-Satan Rays and rose to prominence within the huge leagues rapidly, turning into an All-Star in every of his first three main league seasons. Throughout that point, he posted a powerful .283/.361/.521 slash line whereas amassing MVP votes in annually together with two Gold Glove awards, a Silver Slugger award, and the 2008 Rookie of the Yr award. Longoria spent ten seasons because the face of the franchise in Tampa, showing in 1,435 video games with the membership and slashing .270/.341/.483 throughout that point whereas enjoying wonderful protection on the sizzling nook.
Longoria’s manufacturing took a little bit of a dip upon the infielder being shipped to San Francisco earlier than the 2018 season. Whereas he hit a good .251/.312/.438 throughout his 5 seasons in San Francisco, that barely better-than-average manufacturing was a far cry from the star-level manufacturing he boasted earlier in his profession, and the veteran started to overlook time with accidents extra steadily after commonly enjoying 150-plus video games throughout his time with the Rays. Throughout 5 years with the Giants, Longoria by no means appeared in additional than 129 video games with the membership in a season and eclipsed 100 video games simply twice, in 2018 and 2019.
The veteran’s Giants tenure got here to an finish final season, when he departed for the Diamondbacks through free company. In a part-time position with Arizona this yr, Longoria flashed appreciable energy as he slashed .223/.295/.422 with 11 house runs in simply 74 video games. Notably, Longoria’s manufacturing by way of the season’s first 4 months was significantly stronger as he raked to the tune of a .238/.303/.500 slash line with 30 extra-base hits in simply 178 journeys to the plate. Sadly, Longoria hit the shelf with a decrease again pressure in late July and struggled badly upon his return, batting simply .171 whereas reaching base at a 27.1% clip and failing to report an extra-base hit over his ultimate 59 journeys to the plate final yr.
Given the veteran’s age and prolonged harm historical past, his late-season struggles can’t be utterly ignored. With that being mentioned, the shape Longoria flashed for almost all of the season would symbolize a noticeable enchancment for a number of golf equipment on the sizzling nook, significantly given Longoria’s willingness to just accept a part-time position. The attract of returning for an additional season is pretty clear from Longoria’s perspective, as properly: he at present sits at 1,930 profession hits, placing him simply 70 away from the two,000-hit milestone. He’s additionally simply eight round-trippers away from turning into the a hundredth participant in MLB historical past to membership 350 house runs in his profession.
Whereas the 38-year-old hasn’t been publicly linked to any golf equipment up to now within the winter, there are a number of groups for whom he may make some sense, speculatively talking. The Mets misplaced infield prospect Ronny Mauricio for the 2024 season attributable to an harm throughout winter ball, and Longoria may function a veteran mentor and right-handed hitting complement to teenager Brett Baty at third base heading into the 2024 marketing campaign. In the meantime, the Cubs lack a longtime third baseman who may combine and match Longoria with different inside choices like Nick Madrigal and Miles Mastrobuoni on the sizzling nook.