Good news for the (currently) first-place Rays.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, third baseman Evan Longoria “was encouraged after running the bases” on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field and is aiming to begin a minor league rehab assignment by the end of next week.
“I felt good,” Longoria told the Times after his workout. “We’re still moving in the right direction.”
He’s likely to spend around 10 days playing in minor league games before being cleared for activation. The 26-year-old was batting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games before tearing a hamstring.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.