Red Sox Linked to 3-Time All-Star As $313 Million Franchise Slugger Misses Time

The Boston Red Sox did not seem to heed offseason calls from star third baseman Rafael Devers, who urged the team to make more substantive additions to the roster.

And, making its roster holes worse, the team was briefly without Devers himself as the $313 million franchise star has missed two games with a shoulder injury. Following that injury, Patrick McAvoy of Inside The Red Sox called the team a “perfect landing spot” for veteran free agent Evan Longoria.

“Veteran third baseman Evan Longoria is still available in free agency and is looking for his next opportunity,” McAvoy wrote. “The three-time All-Star has plenty of American League East experience after spending the first 10 seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays… The 38-year-old could provide some help at third base as needed and be a veteran presence in the clubhouse.”

The Boston Red Sox Could Get a Bench Upgrade By Signing Evan Longoria

In addition to his three All-Star nods, Longoria has earned a Silver Slugger Award and three Gold Glove Awards. In 16 big-league seasons, he averaged .264/.333/.471 with 342 home runs, 58 stolen bases and 1,159 RBI. After slashing .223/.295/.422 in 211 at bats for the National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks last season, it seems he still has some production left in the tank for the right team.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Longoria is “still weighing his options for 2024.” But he would surely find a suitor if he opts to play again, especially as he’s projected for a mere $7 million salary in 2024, per Spotrac.

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“…the form Longoria’s flashed for the majority of the season would represent a noticeable improvement for a number of clubs at the hot corner, particularly given Longoria’s willingness to accept a part-time role,” Nick Deeds noted for MLB Trade Rumors. “The allure of returning from another season is fairly clear from Longoria’s perspective as well: he currently sits at 1,930 career hits, putting him just 70 away from the 2,000 hit milestone.”

Longoria would likely become the go-to backup at third base behind Devers for the Red Sox. The depth chart currently lists Bobby Dalbec and Pablo Reyes as the substitute options. Dalbec hasn’t registered a hit in six at bats so far in 2024, while Reyes has primarily been filling it at second base.

“Devers is okay now, but if he were to miss extended time later in the season, the Red Sox could be in trouble,” McAvoy added. “Boston has Bobby Dalbec and Pabloy Reyes on the bench and either could fill in at third base, an addition could make sense.”

The Boston Red Sox Would Have Competition Trying to Sign Evan Longoria

If Longoria is looking to return to MLB this season, the Red Sox could have some competition to sign him. Deeds suggested that both the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs could also be in the market to add some veteran depth at third.

“The Mets lost infield prospect Ronny Mauricio for the 2024 season due to an injury during winter ball, and Longoria could serve as a veteran mentor and right-handed hitting complement to youngster Brett Baty at third base headed into the 2024 campaign,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, the Cubs lack an established third baseman (and) could mix-and-match Longoria with other internal options like Nick Madrigal and Miles Mastrobuoni at the hot corner.”

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