(AUDIO) Rays Andrew Friedman Talks Risks with Longoria Deal

By: Justin Pawlowski

Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman joined “Gary and The Commish” on Tuesday to discuss the extension just signed by Evan Longoria for 6 years and $100 million.

Friedman said that this deal had been in the works since February.

“Obviously, things of this magnitude take time,” Friedman said.  “It was something both sides really wanted to make happen.”

Longoria missed significant time in 2012 with hamstring issues and has dealt with injuries in his past, but Friedman said the Rays understood the risks.

“Anytime you’re talking about something of this magnitude, there is great risk involved for everybody.  He had a little procedure done last week that just cleaned it up and puts us in a much better position to put that behind us in the next year.  These are all human beings and things do happen, but where we are right now, we feel good about the risks we’re taking.”

There has been some discussion on 98.7 The Fan, that a deal like this does not help the Rays for the 2013 season.  While true, Friedman knows the Rays still have much to do this off-season.

“We have a lot to do. It’s like that every off-season. First and foremost, we’re returning a very talented core, but we have a lot to do. We have to figure out what we’re going to do at DH and first base, we have to figure out what we’re going to do up the middle on the infield, and we have to figure out the outfield.”

While fans should not believe every rumor they read on the internet, Friedman did admit that the Rays influx of pitching could lead to a trade.

“Obviously, we have some depth in starting pitching that we’ll have conversations about.”

Friedman followed that comment up with a statement Rays fans love to hear.

“If there’s a move that’s going to make us better, we’re going to do it.”

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