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Longoria Sent Down

Posted Mar 24, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Mar 24, 2008 at 06:09 PM

Following today’s game, the Rays reassigned top prospect 3B Evan Longoria to minor-league camp. He will begin the season at Triple-A Durham.

Longoria said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the decision and ‘‘had a feeling’’ it might be coming.

“They made the decision, whether it was based on my performance, based on what they need, based on the business side of it – I don’t know,” he said. “It was made, and I’ll accept it and handle it.”

Longoria said he felt like he did what he needed to do on and off the field to state his case for sticking around, but obviously the call wasn’t his to make. No one would offer a timetable for when he might return, but he said he hoped it wouldn’t be too long.

“I think it’s going to be based on what I do and how my at-bats and how I handle things down there goes,” he said. “I’m confident that I can handle it down there and the sooner I can become comfortable and show them I’m ready, the sooner I’ll be here.”

Andrew Friedman said it was a “tough decision” that required plenty of discussion among the front office and coaching staff.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about it,” said Friedman. “It wasn’t a unanimous decision, but it’s one of those things that I think with the way he played this year and the way he carried himself, I think his timetable has been expedited even in our minds.”

As for the thought that the only reason the Rays would send Longoria down is to delay his arbitration and free agency clock, Friedman dismissed it.

“It’s something that for us is virtually irrelevant in this,” he said. “As we’ve demonstrated with Crawford and Rocco and Shields and Pena, we are committed to signing our good young players long-term. We’ve demonstrated it in the past and will continue to demonstrate it. If and when that does happen, it would render that irrelevant.”

In addition, SS Reid Brignac also was reassigned to minor-league camp and will join Longoria in Durham.

Updating with some additional info on David Price. He saw Dr. Koco Eaton today and was diagnosed with a muscle strain in his left elbow. It isn’t considered serious, but the combination of having to shut him down for a while and then build him all the way back up to a starter’s workload likely means it will be six weeks before he makes his first start for Vero Beach. Price will be in extended spring training until then working his way back.

“The good news is obviously it’s nothing significant,” Friedman said. “We had that sense pretty soon after it happened, but it’s always good to get confirmation. Hearing the report, the biggest delay is going to be just in terms of building him back up, not necessarily getting him healthy.”

Reader Comments

Por (Bob Abruzzese) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Just proves that the Rays management doesn’t care about winning, just the bottom line…what a disgrace to treat your fans like that!!!..play your best players when they are ready, not when you can squeeze an extra year of control (ie..free agency) out of them.

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Por (Kyle McCall) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

2014? Why not try to win in 2008. Bad move on the Rays’ part.

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Por (bob brandon) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I knew the Rays would find a way to make me hate them. Just when I thought they were turning the corner and cared more about winning than money, they go and screw Longoria and prove that another losing season is ahead of us. Even the players like Upton said he is ready and he wants him here now. I probably won’t attend any games this year. This was a litmus test for me about the Devil Rays ( might as well call them by their old name )and they failed as I hoped they wouldn’t. How dissappointing !!!!

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Por (Bob) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This was a great decesion by the Rays management.  Let’s see, do we keep him in the minors for 12 games so we can get an extra 162 games down the line??? Seems like an easy decesion to me. 

Let’s face it, if Longoria is going to be the players that many people expect, then the Yankess or Red Sox will just throw 150 million at him when his contract with Tampa expires. We all know that the Rays can’t compete with that.  So they did the smart thing…keep him off the market and in our clubhouse an extra year. 

The bottom line is that in 5 years we will all look back at this and be thankful for the decesion that was made.

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Por (Richard Burke) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

what a load of crap. How can you send your best 3rd basemen down to the minors after he clearly out performed everyone else!

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Por (john towers) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

He is ready(as compared to the other 3B choices) but the Rays aren’t gonna win anything this year, so i think they smartly sent him down….
He should be up in mid May though

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Por (Steven Christopher) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Did the Rays back themselves into a corner with Longoria?  Did the team face social commentary if they failed to promote Young and Upton for a September callup for fiscal reasons but would be willing to promote Longoria with the same set of circumstances…especially when Upton and Young had completed full seasons at AAA?

Have to wonder if this “social issue” had any bearing on the decision…along with wanting more ABs in minors and the fiscal advantage to sending him down?

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Por (Craig Frank) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This move really ticks me off-I thought the object was to put your best 9 players on the field-Evan Longoria is one of them.

I know the extra year and arbitration
concerns,then sign him to a new contract.The Rays can win and win now
I just wish the front office would realize it.

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Por (James Martinelli) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Whats this Sports doing on this page ?????? (dickdog)

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Por (James Martinelli) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Take this to the sports page fools !! (Dickdog)

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Por (Martin Gorrell) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

My uneducated guess is that Joe Maddon dissented.  If he can handle the decision, so can I.

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Por (scott malone) on March 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I love Longoria and think he will prove to   an allstar many times over.I too was hoping to see him start opening day. However, all you haters out there need to calm down. How can anyone doubt the great improvements to the Rays organization the last couple of years. Longoria will make his mark soon and the Rays will be much improved in 2008. Give them a chance, the Rays organization is widely praised by baseball knowitalls through out the country these days. Show your support!!!!

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Por (Mark) on March 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Just proves what I have known for a long time, Dandy Andy Friedman has no business running a Major league Baseball Team.

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Por (Reenie Economu) on March 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Wow this stinks I am so disappointed why would you not start your nine best players. I have opening day tickets in Baltimore just so I could see his first game and now he won’t be there. I grew up with his parents and they are the most down to earth folks we are all so excited for him and them.

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Por (Reenie Economu) on March 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Wow this stinks I am so disappointed why would you not start your nine best players. I have opening day tickets in Baltimore just so I could see his first game and now he won’t be there. I grew up with his parents and they are the most down to earth folks we are all so excited for him and them.

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