Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/26/12
Timing in life is everything, even more so when that timing seems unusual. The Tampa Bay Rays announced Monday they had agreed to a six-year contract extension with star Evan Longoria. OK, that makes sense. Longoria, 27, is a power-hitting run producer who also sports a Gold Glove at third base. Hes one of 11 active players to average at least 25 homers and 90 RBIs during his first five seasons. Besides that, Longoria has been a solid presence in the clubhouse and the community. But why would Tampa Bay feel compelled to add six years to a contract that still had four years remaining, and guarantee an extra 100 million? Why now? Well, we dont like to do these things during the season, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said. Um, Stu, we mean why now as in why extend a deal that had four years to go? It wasnt like we woke up one morning sometime a month ago and said, Hey, lets go talk about this. Sternberg said. Its a process that goes along. That process likely was a bit more complicated for the team than for Longoria, who was Tampa Bays third overall pick in 2006. My goal from Day 1 was to be the first player that played their whole career here, Longoria said Monday. To be the first guy that came into the organization and went out in the organization and played all the years in between as a Ray. Longorias new deal includes the remainder of the existing contract, which called for 36.6 million over the next four seasons. Theres also a team option for 2023. The extension doesnt include a no-trade clause, though Longoria will be able to block any deals after 2017 as a 10-year veteran who spent his last five years with the same team. He wont be a free agent at least until 2022. The free-agent market really never enticed me, Longoria said. Obviously, guys can maybe get a little more money here or there but is it realty worth it if youre not happy? In my opinion, no, Im happy here. The Rays undoubtedly had several reasons for taking a modest risk in offering Longoria the extension. Modest, because the only way Tampa Bay really loses is if Longoria suffers a career-altering injury -- something thats much less likely with a position player than with a pitcher. In Longoria, the Rays have locked up an offensive force, defensive vacuum cleaner and a face of the franchise. With big-market rivals New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox facing personnel challenges this offseason, the AL East crown should be a realistic goal for the Rays at least for the next several years, if not longer. Manager Joe Maddon has helped build a solid team that also includes AL Cy Young Award winner David Price. The only thing devilish about the current Rays is their ability to make life difficult for their opponents. While its hard to predict what the overall economy and spending in baseball will look like in three-four years, Tampa Bay, in extending Longoria, also made a commitment to its players, its fans and to the areas local business leaders and politicians. The last group earns a special mention because the Rays are seeking a new ballpark in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. That has become an increased sensitive issue in Florida after the Miami Marlins opened a new publicly financed ballpark and then broke up their team after one disappointing season. A report by a panel of local business leaders released last week said both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties could raise about 350 million toward replacing Tropicana Field without imposing new taxes. (The Rays reportedly would have to contribute no less than 150 million.) But the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported Bay Area Financing Caucus said leveraging those public funds must be weighed against using the money for other public needs, and a decision needs to be made quickly. Whether the Rays stay at Tropicana Field through a lease that goes to 2027, build a new stadium or eventually relocate, Longoria figures to be along for the ride. A smart move, even if the extensions timing was unexpected.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dorial Green-Beckham fined for wearing non-charity Yeezy cleats

Chargers GM won’t commit to Mike McCoy’s return in 2017

Report: Police close to arresting Matt Barnes for alleged assault

Carmelo: Cryptic Instagram posts were about Phil Jackson

DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors won’t go away

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL folks think Jabrill Peppers ‘more hype than substance'?

Joe Haden: Winless Browns the 'laughingstock of every joke’

Did Del Rio give Reid the stink eye after Thursday’s game?

Lane Kiffin reportedly believed Houston job was his

Harbaugh stands by claim Pats broke rules in 2015 playoff game

Green, Durant laughed at Jazz coach for not surrendering

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Box Score 12/9: Carey Price has had enough of your nonsense

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

Ten most significant developments of the NBA season

Ten bold predictions for NFL Week 14

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker