Evan Longoria has been preparing to play for his first new team in a decade-long career, and he's just about ready to go.
The Giants third baseman, acquired from the Rays in late December, joined MLB Network Radio on Monday to discuss joining San Francisco after spending his first 10 Major League seasons with Tampa Bay.
"It shook everything up, definitely. It's gonna take some time to settle in. There's gonna be a lot of things that I'm gonna experience this year -- having to find a place in a new city, having to get the fans on my side again, go out and perform in a new environment. All those things are legitimately scary. It's like going to a new school when you're a kid."
Longoria is in Arizona, where the Giants play their Spring Training games and where he already has a home. He made the drive to the Giants' Spring Training facility in Scottsdale for the first time on Monday, where he met some of his new teammates who have also started their workouts.
"It hasn't really set in all that much. It definitely feels foreign, putting on the different colors and trying to find a locker. It's a different experience."
The 32-year-old was the face of the Rays, a three-time All-Star and the American League Rookie of the Year in 2008. That year, he helped lead Tampa Bay to its first World Series appearance, and he led the Rays to three more postseason appearances in 2010, '11 and '13. Longoria is the Rays' all-time leader in home runs (261), RBIs (892) and runs scored (780).
"I thought I would be [with the Rays my whole career], but I also want to win, and I think that Tampa, they kind of made it clear that they wanted to go in a different direction. I'm very grateful to them for the way that they handled it, the way that the front office handled it, and for them to kind of just give me an opportunity to go out and win somewhere else."
Now he'll be the newest face in a clubhouse that's used to doing just that -- the Giants have won three World Series since 2010 -- and will also be trying to rebound from a disappointing 2017 season. San Francisco finished in last place in the National League West at 64-98 while three of its division foes -- the Dodgers, D-backs and Rockies -- made the playoffs.
The Giants went out and got Longoria with postseason contention in mind for 2018. So after he was traded, Longoria reached out to Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants' two franchise cornerstones who led them to those three championships.
"I just shot them a text to say, 'Obviously I'm here to win and I'm here to follow you guys' lead. They obviously have been the two mainstays and the faces of the team for quite some time. So I definitely wanted to make it a point to reach out to them and let them know that I'm here to be on their program and I'm excited to be here."