The man affectionately known as "Longo" will likely be in the Tampa Bay area for a long time. Monday, the Rays announced star third baseman Evan Longoria agreed to a six-year contract extension worth $100 million.
"It's a very exciting day for us and for Evan," said Rays' principal owner Stuart Sternberg.
The contract means Longoria could stay with the Rays through the 2023 season.
"The message from the beginning was that I wanted to be here for a long time," Longoria said.
The length of the contract is one thing that stands out. The other? The money.
While $100 million is certainly a lot of cash, Longoria, regarded as one of the best in the majors, is a bit of a baseball bargain, believe it or not.
Last year, Detroit signed Prince Fielder to a $214 million contract while Los Angeles paid Albert Pujols $240 million.
And who could forget Carl Crawford's $142 million deal with the Red Sox?
Longoria says this was about more than just money.
"The free agent market really never enticed me. Obviously, guys can maybe get a little more money here or there. But is it really worth it if you're not happy? In my opinion, no," Longoria said.
Something else could also be in play. Crawford famously failed in Boston, and was shipped out just one year after signing his big deal.
Many believe the stress of playing in a baseball-crazed city like Boston for that amount of money led to his demise.
Dr. Angus Mugford is head of the mental conditioning program at IMG Academy in Bradenton.
He says pro athletes face real challenges under those conditions.
"They start to think that they have to do something extra, extra special, or knock it out of the park every time they're up, and that's the danger for any professional or any athlete," Mugford said.
Not that Longo wouldn't be up for the challenge, he just decided the Florida sunshine and the best organization in baseball was too much to pass up.
"There's no better place for me," he said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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