Searching for fundamentals guru Tom Emanski…

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Any fan of baseball — or television, for that matter — is probably familiar with Tom Emanski and his baseball fundamentals videos that produced “back-to-back-to-back AAU Championships.”  Heck, they were endorsed by The Crime Dog himself, Fred McGriff. 

Well, Bill Reiter of the Kansas City Star did us all a favor this spring and attempted to track down the suddenly elusive Emanski.  Reiter failed, but gathered this priceless quote from Royals right-hander Zack Greinke, who actually attended Emanski’s camp in Florida as a youngster.

“There were some good parts,” Greinke says. “But we spent two hours in a
room talking about technique. We were 10 years old, and we had no idea
what he was talking about — no idea.”

Something must have clicked.  Greinke, 26, won the American League Cy Young Award last season with a dominant 2.16 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 242 strikeouts.  He threw six complete games and logged 26 total quality starts.  The phantom Emanski lives on!

The Giants are interested in Evan Longoria

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.

Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.

Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.

If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.