Are the Tampa Bay Rays in the running for Johnny Damon and either Manny Ramirez or Vladimir Guerrero?
Talk about your turn of events, not to mention those Tampa Bay Rays “fans” who were ready to ink the Rays down for 65 wins next season, it now seems as the day wears on that the Rays could be in the market to add two big bats to the lineup.
Reports surfaced from various outlets, including ESPN this morning, that the Tampa Bay Rays were close to an agreement with Johnny Damon. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, and I have to say, I was ho-hum about the prospect. I was happy it was Johnny Damon and not OF Andruw Jones, who signed a contract with the New York Yankees.
However, as the reports of Damon being linked to the Rays swirled around the internet, so were the reports that the Tampa Bay Rays might just sign Damon and either Manny Ramirez or Vladimir Guerrero as well. Well isn’t that a interesting twist. The first report was on MLB.com. Then this afternoon, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was reporting the same thing.
Granted, these are players in their mid to late thirties and not playing at the level they once did, however, what a potential boost to the offense. Damon is just one season removed from a 24 home run season and has average over 140 games per season in his career. Damon brings the bat from the left side of the plate.
Either Ramirez or Guerrero bring the bat from the right side of the plate. Honestly, I would rather see Guerrero with the Rays in 2011, but a Ramirez which could find 15-20 home runs in a DH role this season would not be unwelcome at the right price.
This is shaping up to be a very interesting turn of events, and while the Rays have not officially issued any statement as of yet, the fact that the rumors are out there of the Rays wanting to potentially add two veteran bats, is very encouraging.
I don’t think the moves are done yet either. Rumors surfaced this week that the Rays might be wanting to execute a trade with Pittsburgh for a late inning arm as well. Stay tuned, because I think this season might be better than many of the dooms day predictors out there have forecast.