Evan Longoria becomes Rays franchise leader with 164th career home run

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Evan Longoria is already on a lot of top-ten leaderboards for the Rays. The franchise came into existence in 1998, so it’s not nearly as impressive as a top-ten appearance on Red Sox leaderboards. At any rate, Longoria figures to be the guy everybody chases by the time he hangs up his spikes.

With a third inning, two-run blast off of Ivan Nova on Saturday night, Longoria broke a tie with Carlos Pena to become the Rays’ franchise leader in career home runs with 164.

The Rays’ top-ten for home runs:

Rank Player HR
1 Evan Longoria 164
2 Carlos Pena 163
3 Aubrey Huff 128
4 B.J. Upton 118
5 Ben Zobrist 107
6 Carl Crawford 104
7 Fred McGriff 99
8 Matthew Joyce 69
9 Jonny Gomes 66
10 Greg Vaughn 60

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.