Giants

What the Giants' farm system lost in trade for Evan Longoria

What the Giants' farm system lost in trade for Evan Longoria

The Giants desperately wanted to save face after losing 98 games in the 2017 season. Their home sell-out streak ended, there were times when seagulls outnumbered humans at AT&T Park and Giancarlo Stanton said no thanks in San Francisco's pursuit of the National League MVP. 

Step one came to life Wednesday with the team trading for 32-year-old, three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria. The Giants sent outfielder Denard Span along with prospects Christian Arroyo (INF), Matt Krook (LHP) and Stephen Woods (RHP) to the Rays to acquire Longoria. 

Around the league, the Giants are already seen as a team with a low-ranking farm system. Losing a player like Arroyo, who made his MLB debut at 21 years old in 2017, will certainly hurt them even more. 

Let's take a look at what all three prospects bring to the table. 

Christian Arroyo, 22, INF

Arroyo is clearly the prize that brought Longoria to San Francisco. He was ranked as the Giants' No. 4 prospect by Baseball America and was the team's top prospect for MLB.com before the trade. 

At only 21 years old and the youngest player on the team, Arroyo began the year with a scorching start in Triple-A for the Sacramento River Cats. Through just 16 games, Arroyo earned a call-up to the big leagues by hitting .446 with three home runs and seven doubles. 

In 34 games, Arroyo found out how different San Francisco is compared to Sacramento. Before being sent back down, Arroyo only hit .192, but bashed three more balls over the wall. While his bat forced the team's hand, Arroyo was clearly rushed to the majors.

Though he isn't seen notoriously as a future star, the Giants let go of a young bat who has all the tools to be a solid big league hitter and has the ability to play third base, shortstop or second base.

As Insider Alex Pavlovic points out, the Giants clearly chose a reload over a rebuild in letting go of Arroyo. 

Matt Krook, 23, LHP

Krook, like so many others, fits into the "p word" for prospects -- potential. Baseball America ranked Krook as the team's No. 19 prospect and MLB.com had him down at No. 25.

The big lefty was drafted No. 35 overall by the Marlins out of high school, but did not sign after failing his physical. Krook then dominated the competition at Oregon as a freshman before being injured again. 

After his freshman year, Krook underwent Tommy John surgery. Ever since, he has struggled mightily with command and the Giants took him in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. 

The Giants tried to stick it out with Krook as a starter. At the end of the season, he transitioned to the bullpen for the San Jose Giants and mowed down hitters to a 1.02 ERA and struck out 25 batters to seven walks in 17.2 innings. 

Stephen Woods, 22, RHP

Woods is also in the Krook model of prospects. The right-hander isn't seen as a top-tier arm, but like Krook, he can throw in the mid to high 90s with rough control at times. 

At the time of the trade, Baseball America ranked Woods No. 25 overall for the Giants and MLB.com saw him as the team's No. 30 prospect. 

Woods finished the 2017 season in Low-A with a 6-7 record, 2.95 ERA, 113 strikeouts and 64 walks for the Augusta GreenJackets. He finished his final six starts with a 1.22 ERA and 24 strikeouts, but also walked 16 batters.

Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster

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AP

Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster

The Giants added two premier face of the franchise players this offseason in Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. Together the two have combined for eight All-Star Game appearances. 

What they don't bring to San Francisco though, is youth. Longoria (32) and McCutchen (31) are the latest to join an again Giants roster. Buster Posey turn 31 in March, Johnny Cueto turns 32 in February, Hunter Pence turns 35 in April, Brandon Crawford turns 31 in January, and Brandon Belt turns 30 in April.

Father Time though, is far from getting Longoria and the rest of the Giants' stars according to the third baseman. 

"I believe that all of us believe we're in our prime and we are more than capable of competing," Longoria said Wednesday on KNBR. "That's just ways of making waves in the news. Our job is to just go out and do our job. I think we'll be just fine." 

Longoria is entering his 11th season in the big leagues. That has certainly added wear and tear on him, but also added knowledge of his body. 

"I'm definitely a different player," Longoria says now at 32 compared to 22. "There's a lot of ways that I prepare now that I didn't have to do or I didn't know how to do when I was a younger player. For me personally, it's going to be quite an experience."

While Longoria and McCutchen may not have the freshest pair of legs in baseball, they are two of the most durable players in the game. In 2017, both players appeared in 156 out of 162 games.

"Being prepared for the season is one thing and I know how to do that and I know how to get myself ready for that," Longoria said. "It's just a matter of the day in and day out homework so to speak that I'll have to do. That's gonna change based on the league and based on the division."

Evan Longoria reacts to Giants' 'big, big acquisition' of Andrew McCutchen

Evan Longoria reacts to Giants' 'big, big acquisition' of Andrew McCutchen

When Evan Longoria heard he was being traded to the Giants, he instantly thought of the three World Series trophies. 

"They've won three World Series in the past eight years or whatever, everyone knows that," Longoria said Wednesday on KNBR. "It's a great place to be. The fan base is amazing. I'm just looking forward to playing in front of that and being a part of that." 

That's true, the Giants have won three titles in the last eight years. At one point, it was three in five years, building a modern-day dynasty. That also means they have come up short the last three years. 

In 2017, the Giants fell well beyond short. Playing his whole career in the American League East for the Tampa Bay Rays, Longoria didn't realize quite how bad things were going in San Francisco this past season. 

His wife did though. 

"My wife was actually the one that said, 'Hey, did you know the Giants basically had the worst record in baseball last year?'" Longoria shared. "I said 'I'm excited to be going to a contender' and she said 'Uhh... wait a second here.' But I know that those things happen and it's very tough to compete atop of the division every year and there's years that you have to punt so to speak and start preparing for next year." 

None of that matters to Longoria. The past is the past. All Longoria cares about now is 2018 and beyond. And he believes the Giants are in line to make some more Even Year Magic.

"I truly believe that this organization, obviously with the moves that they've made this offseason, with the recent acquisition of [Andrew] McCutchen, I believe that they're still not done," Longoria says. "I think they wanna do a few more things and that shows a committment to winning. We're definitely on the path to turning it around this year." 

The Giants acquired McCutchen from the Pirates on Monday for prospects Bryan Reynolds and Kyle Crick. Longoria couldn't be any more excited to be in the same lineup as McCutchen. 

"It's a big, big acquisition," Longoria said. "I think when you look at Cutch's numbers, they speak for themselves. When you look at what he's done on the baseball field is probably some of the best numbers and performances in the last 10 years in the National League.

"When you add a player like that, it brings a mindset that the team is committed to winning and I've heard nothing but great things about McCutchen in the clubhouse and off the field too. Whether or not you can quantify it, I believe those things go a long way." 

Longoria and McCutchen combined for 48 home runs and 174 RBI in 2017.