The latest veteran outfielder linked to the Tampa Bay Rays is veteran CF Andruw Jones. According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, the Rays are in play for Jones. Jones has played 15 season in the majors, bursting on the scene with the Atlanta Braves in 1996. Over the past three seasons, Jones has struggled while spending time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox.
Last season, Jones played the most games of the last three seasons, recording 107 games and finished the season with a .230 BA with 19 HR’s and 48 RBI’s in 278 AB’s.
According to Heyman, Johnny Damon is still a possibility for the Rays as well. The New York Yankees are rumored to be interested in both players as well.
I think I like the possibility of Johnny Damon joining the Rays rather than Jones. While Damon’s homerun production dropped off from 2009-2010 (24 down to 8), he still managed to finish the season with a .271 BA. In his last 10 seasons, Damon has appeared in at least 141 games or more each season and he would provide a much needed left handed bat.
In other Rays news, Heyman also is reporting that despite the New York Yankees claiming last week that they were not interested in Type A free agent RP Rafael Soriano, they are still trying to acquire the reliever. Soriano said last week that he would welcome a set-up role with the Yankees next season. Heyman reports that there are other teams reportedly interested in Soriano, but writes that those teams aren’t currently known. Which ever team decides to sign Soriano will be forced to surrender a first round pick in the upcoming MLB draft.