ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -For now, the future can wait for Evan Longoria. He became a big leaguer Saturday, and that's all he cared about.
Sent back to the minors by the Tampa Bay Rays despite having an outstanding spring training, Longoria was promoted from Triple-A Durham on Friday night when third baseman Willy Aybar went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left hamstring.
Longoria was in Saturday night's starting lineup against Baltimore, batting sixth and playing third.
By spending 13 days in the minors so far this season - thus not qualifying for a full season - Longoria's eligibility for free agency was pushed back an extra year until after the 2014 season.
``I'm in the big leagues now, so it's the least of my concerns,'' Longoria said Saturday. ``I'm trying to make an impact and stay here as long as I can, and not worry about free agency or arbitration.''
Longoria was the third pick in the June 2006 draft. In seven games at Durham this season, he hit .200 with no homers and five RBIs.
``We all know how good he's going to be,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``Sure, this can be long term. Absolutely. I really believe he's going to be ready for challenge. I do believe that. The biggest thing I want to impress upon him, just go out there and develop at your own pace. Try not to do anything different.''
Longoria was informed about his promotion just before the start of Durham's game Friday night.
``It's crazy once again,'' Longoria said. ``A whirlwind experience. I really wasn't expecting to get up this quickly.''
Longoria said he was disappointed after being sent to the minors at the end of spring training.
``Once I got with the guys, it was fine,'' he said.
To make room for Longoria on the 40-man roster, the Rays transferred pitcher Chad Orvella, out with an injured right shoulder, from 15- to the 60-day disabled list.
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