Evan Longoria's Extension by Tampa Bay Rays the Right Call

Ron JuckettContributor IIINovember 26, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG - OCTOBER 03:  Infielder Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays tips his cap after his second home run of the night against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Tropicana Field on October 3, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays announced Monday they have locked up Evan Longoria—their face of the franchise—through at least the 2022 season by extending his current deal an additional five years.

The 2008 American League Rookie of the Year is now under contract until he is 37. 

A major investment by a franchise that is the definition of a small-market team, the Rays were absolutely correct in pretty much ensuring their franchise's best position player remains a Ray his entire career.

A three-time All-Star, Longoria missed half of last season due to injury, but when he is healthy, he consistently hits 30 home runs a year and drives in around 100 runs.

Four times in his five seasons has Longoria been in the top 20 in the MVP voting. A two-time Gold Glove winner, Longoria has a career OPS+ of 137 and has been part of three Rays teams that made the playoffs.

His four home runs in the 2008 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox played a big part in Tampa winning its first ever AL pennant.

After all the shenanigans in Miami, it became important to the other Florida ballclub to show and convince its fans that it does not take these last five years for granted and hopes to continue as a force in the AL East for years to come.

As Longoria still has four seasons left on his first contract extension, it becomes obvious when looking at this extension that he loves Tampa and the team loves him.

Stability is never a bad thing, even if it means making $20 million per season during his declining years.

Like Chipper Jones in Atlanta or Derek Jeter with New York, it seems that all sides were very content in bucking the trend and having the popular Longoria remain a Ray.

That is a prize that is not only good for Rays fans, but for the game of baseball overall.


*Statistics via Baseball-Reference

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