Veteran third baseman Evan Longoria has agreed to a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Longoria became a free agent after the San Francisco Giants declined his $13 million option for 2023 in November. Shortly after, he thanked the franchise and its fans in an Instagram post:
Longoria appeared in just 89 games during the 2022 campaign because of a number of injuries, including a finger injury that sidelined him during the beginning of the year. He slashed .244/.315/.451 with 14 home runs and 42 RBI.
The 37-year-old had played for the Giants since coming over in a trade from the Tampa Bay Rays ahead of the 2018 campaign. He appeared in 477 games for the Giants across five seasons, hitting .250 with 70 home runs.
Longoria was open to returning to the Giants in 2023, but he noted at the end of the 2022 campaign that if returning to San Francisco wasn't an option, he preferred to re-sign with the Rays or sign with the Diamondbacks because he has homes in both locations, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
The California native also said during the season that retirement was an option:
“If I did decide not to play, I would have been happy with what I have accomplished in this game, without a doubt. If I did decide to play, it obviously would have to be an opportunity that really makes sense for my family.
“Really, the last three years have been probably the three hardest years of baseball that I’ve ever had to play in terms of my body and what I’ve gone through with injuries, but also just being away from my family (in Arizona). They haven’t been here at all. I would need a situation where they’re happy.”
Longoria, the third overall pick in the 2006 MLB draft, won the Rookie of the Year award with the Rays in 2008 and won three Gold Gloves during his tenure in Tampa Bay. In addition, he was a three-time All-Star with the Rays.
Longoria isn't the same player he once was, but it's no surprise the Diamondbacks decided to add the veteran.
Arizona had been pursuing Longoria for much of the winter up to this point. Heyman reported Dec. 9 that Arizona was one of five teams looking into the veteran.
Adding Longoria gives the D-Backs some much-needed depth at third base. He joins a unit manned by Josh Rojas and Emmanuel Rivera. Geraldo Perdomo can also play third base if needed.