The Tampa Bay area celebrated two big victories Tuesday night, as Evan Longoria won the 2017 Gold Glove at third base, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was re-elected into office, handily defeating his opponent, Rick Baker, by three percentage points. The Tampa Bay Rays also announced a handful of Minor League roster moves Wednesday afternoon.
Congratulations Evan Longoria
Congratulations to Evan Longoria are in order after he took home the Gold Glove Award for the third time in his career Tuesday night. Longoria previously won the award in 2009 and 2010.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) November 9, 2017
Longoria told Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) that he takes pride in his defense was pleased to win the award this season:
The Gold Glove is one of the awards when I first started playing that I always wanted to win, so to win a third one is really cool, said Longoria. I definitely take pride in my defense. …It feels good to win it, and it feels good to win it in front of some really good players and some guys who put together good years.
This season Longoria ranked second Defensive Runs Saved (11) — his most since 2013 (12) — and third in fielding percentage (.968), total chances (375), putouts (96) and assists (267). The Rays captain also played a career-best 47 consecutive error-free games between July 5 and August 28.
Longoria now is the 18th third baseman to win three or more Gold Glove Awards — the first Ray to win the award three times — and only the third active third baseman with three or more, joining Adrian Beltre (5) and Nolan Arenado (4, entering Tuesday night).
Longoria snared the eighth Gold Glove Award in franchise history; centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier (2015, 2016), right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (2012), left fielder Carl Crawford (2010) and first baseman Carlos Peña (2008) had also won Gold Glove Awards.
Right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb was a Gold Glove Award finalist this season as well.
Congratulations Mayor Kriseman
Incumbent Rick Kriseman defeated challenger, and former mayor, Rick Baker to remain St. Petersburg mayor Tuesday night. Kriseman amassed 51.4 percent of the vote (33,854 votes), compared to 48.6 percent of the vote (31,815 votes) by Baker.
The mayor overcame many challenges en route to his victory:
– Ken Hagan (Hillsborough County Commission) tried to tip the election in Rick Baker’s favor with his surprise Rays announcement two weeks before the votes were cast.
– Rick Baker went low with his advertisements, including an attempt to ruin someone’s life and livelihood.
– Rick Baker attempted to use Alt-Right tactics to score with his base.
– St. Petersburg voters voted in favor of a flawed candidate, in his handling of the waste water crisis.
– The editors of the Tampa Bay Times did all they could to put Rick Baker in office with their barrages of one-sided editorials, yet Kriseman still won.
Goddamn its great to be alive in lil old progressive St. Petersburg!
— X-Rays Spex (@XRaysSpex) November 8, 2017
The answer is simple: without the ability to pull $100-$200 million from the couch cushions, expect a lawn drawn out discussion that includes a tug-of-war between both counties. St. Pete already has a funding source and land that can be developed upon, Tampa does not. https://t.co/qhVkXd8Ar8
— X-Rays Spex (@XRaysSpex) November 8, 2017
As it relates to the stadium saga… Moving forward, and as Noah Pransky (Shadow of the Stadium blog, WTSP) noted, with the election in the books, it would seem the next domino to fall in the Stadium Saga would belong to the Rays, who could call a press conference to discuss their next move (seeking money) as soon as this week. But that may not prove to be a pleasant — or brief — chapter in this saga.
Minor League matters
LHP Vidal Nuno, who elected free agency from Baltimore in October, inked a Minor League deal with the Rays. It was an interesting move for Tampa Bay, as Nuno has the ability to pitch in multiple innings. The southpaw has spent time with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Mariners and Orioles, compiling a 5-21 record, and a 4.29 ERA mark in 138 games. The acquisition creates more depth.
The Rays agreed to terms with LHP Adam Kolarek on a Minor League deal. Kolarek pitched in 12 games in 2017 — his first big league action. According to Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) the team is talking with some other of their minor-league free agents as they attempt to rebuild the roster.
Finally, 18 Ray farmhands became free agents this week, including three players from the top of the 2011 draft class in which Tampa Bay had 10 of the top 60 picks: INF Jake Hager, RHP Jeff Ames, and LHP Grayson Garvin.
The entire list is below (where they ended the 2017 season is in parentheses).
Right Handed Pitchers:
Hunter Adkins (AA)
Jeff Ames (AAA)
Fernando Baez (A)
Mike Broadway (AAA)
Jairo Munoz (A)
Kyle Winkler (AA)
Left Handed Pitchers:
Logan Darnell (AA)
Grayson Garvin (AA)
Michael Roth (AAA)
Jonny Venters (AAA)
Curt Casali (AAA)
Michael McKenry (AAA)
Justin O’Conner (AAA)
Ryan Brett (AAA)
Patrick Leonard (AAA)
Jake Hager (AAA)
Granden Goetzman (A)
Cesar Puello (AAA)