The thought of the "Tampa Bay Giants" should make any fan who went through the summer of 1992 keel over with gut-wrenching pain. It seemed inevitable that the Giants were headed for Tampa Bay when then-owner Bob Lurie agreed to sell the team to a Florida group who were set on re-locating the Black and Orange.
As we know, the Giants were saved by Peter Magowan and Larry Baer, staying in San Francisco. As Giants fans now root for the Tampa Bay Rays against their hated rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the World Series, it seemed just as inevitable that a former Giant would be lacing up his spikes for the Rays in the Fall Classic.
But just as the Giants' move to Tampa Bay crumbled, so did the Giants' infamous trades with the Rays.
The Giants shocked their clubhouse and fans when they traded Matt Duffy, along with prospects Lucius Fox and Michael Santos, to the Rays for pitcher Matt Moore on Aug. 1, 2016. Duffy was beloved by fans and his teammates and was coming off a season in which he finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Moore felt like the missing piece to the Giants winning another title in an even year.
But plans rarely ever turn out how they appear on paper. Duffy and Moore both have bounced around the league, Santos pitched in the Los Angeles Angels' minor league system last year and currently is a free agent, and the trade officially came to a close for both the Giants and Rays this past August when Fox -- who was a top 100 prospect going into the 2019 season -- was traded to the Kansas City Royals.
Just a mere 16 months later, the Giants and Rays once again shook hands on a blockbuster trade when Tampa Bay sent San Francisco third baseman Evan Longoria for top prospect Christian Arroyo, prospects Matt Krook and Stephen Woods, and veteran outfielder Denard Span. None of those four players the Rays acquired from the Giants are on Tampa Bay's World Series roster. Span didn't play last year and retired this past June, Krook still is in the Rays' minor league system, Woods now pitches in the Royals' system and Arroyo never turned into the star many thought he might one day be. Arroyo debuted for the Giants at 21 years old in 2017 and now has a .219 career batting average in the majors as a part of four different franchises.
It turns out after those big trades with the Rays, the only former Giant in this year's World Series is a Dodger, and not even a Dodgers player. That honor belongs to manager Dave Roberts.
Roberts finished his 10-year playing career in the majors by suiting up for the Giants his final two seasons in 2007 and 2008. Even at 35 years old, Roberts still stole 31 bases for the Giants in '07.
The Dodgers manager played for the Giants in Bruce Bochy's first two seasons managing in San Francisco, and the two remained close even while coaching against each other as heated rivals. But Giants fans likely won't show Roberts as much love as Bochy did.
While there is a former Giant in the World Series, fans will respect the rivalry more than Roberts' two seasons in San Francisco. For the rest of October, The City will become Rays World. Hop on the
bandwagon trolley, all are welcome.