The Giants announced a series of roster moves prior to tonight’s game, with third baseman Evan Longoria being placed on the injured list due to a thumb fracture. Left-hander Thomas Szapucki was also placed on the injured list, with a hip strain being the culprit in his case. To take their spots on the active roster, outfielder Bryce Johnson was recalled while left-hander Andrew Vasquez had his contract selected. To make room on the 40-man roster for Vasquez, lefty Alex Wood was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Longoria suffered his injury yesterday when attempting to field a ground ball. X-rays revealed a fracture, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, which will finish Longoria’s season. The veteran had another strong year at the plate, hitting .244/.315/.451, production that was 15% above league average by measure of wRC+. However, various injuries limited him to just 89 games on the year, as he previously went on the IL due to hand surgery, an oblique strain and a hamstring strain.
Going forward, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Longoria. He is in the final guaranteed year of the huge extension he signed with the Rays back in 2012. There is a club option for 2023, though Longoria has at least considered retirement, discussing the matter with Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle back in June.
After the IL placement was announced today, Longoria spoke to the media about his future, with Slusser and Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic among those to relay the information on Twitter. He says that his wife and kids want him to continue playing in 2023 and that his first choice would be to return to the Giants. The option for next year comes with a $13MM base salary and $5MM buyout, though Longoria says he’s open to renegotiating the terms if the team wants him back. The club’s president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has already publicly spoken about a desire to run out a younger roster next year, which would seemingly be a point against bringing back Longoria, who turns 37 in a few days. However, if Longoria is willing to accept a lower salary, perhaps there is a price point where it makes sense for both sides to reunite. The surgery comes with a recovery time of about 4-6 weeks, per Slusser, meaning Longoria should have plenty of time to recover before Spring Training.
As for Vasquez, 29, he began the year with the Blue Jays but subsequently joined the Phillies and Giants on waiver claims before being outrighted about a month ago. He threw 6 2/3 innings with the Jays earlier this year but has otherwise been relegated to the minor leagues, pitching very well on the whole. In 32 1/3 innings in the minors on the year, he has a 2.23 ERA, 34.9% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate. He has less than a year of MLB service time and could be retained for next year if he holds onto his roster spot through the winter.
As for Wood, this today’s transfer is a mere formality as it had already been reported that he wouldn’t be returning this season.