- Associated Press - Monday, November 26, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (AP) - Evan Longoria wants to be with the Tampa Bay Rays for his entire big league career.

The slugging third baseman got his wish Monday when they Rays agreed to a $136.6 million, 10-year contract that adds six guaranteed seasons and $100 million.

“I always wanted to be kind of a benchmark player … the guy that you could think about or associate with the organization,” Longoria said. “My goal from Day One was to be the first player that played their whole career here, to be the first guy that came into the organization and went out in the organization, and played all the years in between. There’s no better place for me.”

The agreement with the three-time All-Star incorporates the remainder of the 27-year-old’s existing contract, which called for him to earn $36.6 million over the next four seasons. The new deal includes a team option for 2023 that could make the deal worth $144.6 million over 11 years.


“It’s a very exciting day for us,” Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. “For Evan to have the confidence in us, and I know the confidence that we have in him, to re-up so to speak for the long haul. This is just an enormous commitment for us.”

Longoria said a no-trade provision is not included in the deal, although after 2017 he would have a right to block trades as a 10-year veteran who spent his last five years with the same team.

Just six games into his major league career, Longoria agreed in April 2008 to a $17.5 million, six-year contract that included club options potentially making the deal worth $44 million over nine seasons.

“The significance of this is not lost on anybody,” Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We’re extending that commitment now.”

His new deal calls for a $5,000,180 signing bonus _ the $180 is for good luck. Of the signing bonus, $1,000,180 is new money payable Dec. 15 and the rest is pair of $2 million payments on Feb. 15 and June 14. His 2013 salary is reduced from $6 million to $2 million.

Longoria’s salaries remain $7.5 million for 2014, $11 million for 2015 and $12.1 million for 2016. The new deal adds salaries of $13 million for 2017, $13.5 million for 2018, $14.5 million for 2019, $15 million for 2020, $18.5 million for 2021 and $19.5 million for 2022.

Tampa Bay holds a $13 million option for 2023 with a $5 million buyout, and escalators could raise the option price to $18 million.

Longoria became just the seventh player with a contract guaranteed through 2020. Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder, Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki have deals covering the next eight years, with Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols’ contract running through 2021 and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto’s through 2023.

Tampa Bay selected Longoria as the third overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft, making him the first player drafted under Sternberg and Friedman.

Longoria played in just 74 games in 2012 because of a partially torn left hamstring. He underwent a minor surgical cleanup procedure on the hamstring Nov. 20 and is expected to be ready for spring training.

“With the time that we had now, there’s no doubt that I’d be able to recover and be at 100 percent or close to it by (the start of) spring training,” Longoria said.

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