Christian Arroyo

Wotus' take on trade for Longoria: 'When you're trying to win the division...'

Wotus' take on trade for Longoria: 'When you're trying to win the division...'

While the Giants are still looking for outfield help as spring training creeps up on us, they checked one off their to-do list with the acquisition of third baseman Evan Longoria in late December. 

"Getting Longo at third base is a huge hole for us that we needed to fill," Giants third base coach Ron Wotus said to Friday on MLB Network Radio

In trading for Longoria, the Giants had to give up one of their top prospects. Christian Arroyo, who made his MLB debut at just 21 years old this past season, hit .396 in 25 Triple-A games for the Sacramento River Cats. He struggled at the big league level, batting .192 in 34 games. 

"We had Arroyo, the kid, but when you're trying to win the division and compete with the Dodgers and now Arizona's much better, Colorado's much better, we got a sure All-Star caliber player there," Wotus said on the trade.

The Dodgers won the National League West in 2017 and the D'backs and Rockies squared off in the wild card game. Over in Tampa Bay, the Rays missed the playoffs while Longoria posted his worst offensive season in years. 

Longoria, 32, hit .261, his lowest batting average since 2014, with 20 home runs, his lowest since 2012. Still, 20 home runs would have led the Giants in 2017 and they believe he's a much needed power boost to the lineup. 

"We filled one of our needs. I think his leadership and experience in being able to hit in the middle of the order -- he's done that his whole life -- is really gonna benefit for us," Wotus said. 

As Wotus showed excitement in the Longoria addition, he recognized the team needs to keep adding to their roster after a 98-loss season. 

"It's a great addition... but we still have more work to do," Wotus said to finish his interview. 

Christian Arroyo pens 'bittersweet' message after being traded by Giants

Christian Arroyo pens 'bittersweet' message after being traded by Giants

It took Christian Arroyo a few hours, but he finally reacted to the trade that sent him from the Giants to the Rays.

A little after 6pm PT, Arroyo posted a message on Twitter.

"Bittersweet. Best way to describe this feeling right now. Being traded from the team that drafted you, developed you, and then gave you a chance to make your dreams come true is special. To the front office, my teammates, and the fans of the San Francisco Giants I would like to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything. San Francisco will always hold a special place in my heart. I am very excited for the opportunity to continue my playing career with the team I grew up watching and cheering for, the Tampa Bay Rays. Looking forward to next season, can't wait until spring training!!"

Arroyo was the marquee player traded by the Giants to the Rays for third baseman Evan Longoria on Wednesday morning. Veteran outfielder Denard Span and minor league pitchers Stephen Woods and Matt Krook are the other players headed to Tampa.

Drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft, Arroyo made his major league debut this past season. In 34 games, he hit .192/.244/.304 with five doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI. After being sent back to Triple-A Sacramento, his season ended early when he was hit by a pitch on the hand.

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 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 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 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.