• Manny & Damon Return To A.L. East

    Posted by on January 21st, 2011 · Comments (17)

    Via Jon Bois, they’ll be playing for the Rays in 2011 –

    On Friday night, it was reported that Manny Ramirez will continue his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, along with former teammate Johnny Damon. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman broke the news via Twitter:

    #rays agree to terms with both damon and manny

    manny, damon deals with tampa #rays only subject to physical. #doubleplay

    These are two very high-profile acquisitions for the Rays, who just last month watched slugger Carlos Pena walk away in free agency. Statistically, Ramirez is one of the greatest hitters of his generation. He’ll be 39 years old on May 30th, but he remains an offensive threat — in a 2010 split between the Dodgers and White Sox, Manny posted an .870 OPS in 320 plate appearances.

    Manny will be joined in Tampa by Johnny Damon. The two, of course, won a World Series together with the Red Sox in 2004. For more, check out our Johnny Damon StoryStream here.

    Ramirez is expected to serve as the Rays’ regular designated hitter.

    If the Rays figure out their pen this season, they’re going to be a lot better than many think they will be…

    Comments on Manny & Damon Return To A.L. East

    1. BOHAN
      January 22nd, 2011 | 12:26 am

      Manny will quit before the all star break and damon will miss every other week with some kind of leg injury.

    2. LMJ229
      January 22nd, 2011 | 12:54 am

      BOHAN wrote:

      Manny will quit before the all star break and damon will miss every other week with some kind of leg injury.

      I could definitely see that happening but, man if they stay healthy, the AL East could be a dog fight again. And the Blue Jays are no slouch either.

    3. Raf
      January 22nd, 2011 | 2:02 am

      These are a couple good moves for the Rays. Manny shores up the DH spot; does anyone think he won’t outproduce Burrell, Aybar and Co? And Damon’ll probably platoon with Desmond Jennings in LF, and on occasion spell Upton in CF. You may also see him playing a little 1B; he’d be foolish not to consider it.

    4. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2011 | 3:13 am

      Here’s something, uh, I don’t know, interesting….

      Jeter, 37?…He’s too old, and is in decline.
      A-Rod, 35? Same thing.
      Posada, 39? Just about finished.
      Mariano, 41?…Mot as strong as he used to be.
      Andy, 39?..Can’t be as good again this year, even if he comes back.

      But Johnny Damon, age 37, and Manny Ramirez, age 39, well, uh, the Rays are going to be better than many think they will be.
      ==========================================================
      Ramirez could well be an big improvement on the Rays’ DH situation; they were dreadful in that department last year. Depends on whether he can get some, uh, vitamins, or something.

      Damon will have to play left field, something he’s not nearly as good as Crawford at doing, and, at this point in his career, he’s not as good a hitter as Crawford.
      ==========================================================
      So, yes, the Rays definitely improve with Damon and Manny. But by how much? The White Sox went 14-13 after Manny joined them. The Tigers went 81-81 with Damon.

      My guess is the Rays got oh, about 3-5 games better. Considering what they’ve lost, that’s not enough. They’ll need more improvement elsewhere. Well, heck, maybe Manny will go Willie Stargell, and be worth another 3-5 games by himself.

    5. 77yankees
      January 22nd, 2011 | 10:49 am

      Two aging players with leg problems scheduled to play at least 81 games on artificial turf (and 90 if you count games in Toronto).

      And some thought the Yanks were desperate by signing Soriano.

      As Evan said, the Rays may have gotten 3-5 games better. But given what they’ve lost, you’d figure they’re still on pace for 78-84 as we speak. And if they’re headed toward that by the All Star Break, you’d figure they’d be looking to deal Damon & Manny by that point if they’re still healthy.

    6. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2011 | 1:00 pm

      77yankees wrote:

      Two aging players with leg problems scheduled to play at least 81 games on artificial turf (and 90 if you count games in Toronto).
      And some thought the Yanks were desperate by signing Soriano.
      As Evan said, the Rays may have gotten 3-5 games better. But given what they’ve lost, you’d figure they’re still on pace for 78-84 as we speak. And if they’re headed toward that by the All Star Break, you’d figure they’d be looking to deal Damon & Manny by that point if they’re still healthy.

      For more draft picks! (slobber!)

    7. Raf
      January 22nd, 2011 | 2:09 pm

      77yankees wrote:

      And some thought the Yanks were desperate by signing Soriano.

      The Rays are getting Manny and Damon for less than a year of Soriano. They needed a DH, and Jennings can start @ AAA or platoon with Damon.

      I still think we’re looking at a 3 team race in the AL East.

    8. LMJ229
      January 22nd, 2011 | 4:54 pm

      These types of moves are typical of the Rays whose MO is to load up on compensation picks. I agree with Raf, it will still be a 3 team race in the AL East.

    9. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2011 | 9:09 pm

      Raf wrote:

      77yankees wrote:
      And some thought the Yanks were desperate by signing Soriano.
      The Rays are getting Manny and Damon for less than a year of Soriano. They needed a DH, and Jennings can start @ AAA or platoon with Damon.
      I still think we’re looking at a 3 team race in the AL East.

      I think that depends on if Manny is really still Manny. We’ll see.

    10. LMJ229
      January 22nd, 2011 | 10:40 pm

      I’m surprised Damon got that much money. He’s not worth it in my opinion. He’s got some serious defensive liabilities and leg issues. Teams should be looking to run on him at every possible opportunity. The Rays will definitely be much weaker defensively this year and in the bullpen.

    11. Raf
      January 22nd, 2011 | 10:45 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I think that depends on if Manny is really still Manny. We’ll see.

      Rays DH’s hit .238/.322/.391 last season, I would think that Manny can surpass those numbers, he hit .298/.409/.460 last season, .261/.420/.319 with the White Sox.

    12. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2011 | 12:17 am

      Raf wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I think that depends on if Manny is really still Manny. We’ll see.
      Rays DH’s hit .238/.322/.391 last season, I would think that Manny can surpass those numbers, he hit .298/.409/.460 last season, .261/.420/.319 with the White Sox.

      Those White Sox numbers are what I’m talking about, particularly if he has actually been dependent on PED the last few seasons. Plus, if he hits well for the Rays, he’ll start making noises about wanting a big bucks extension.

      The good news for the Rays is that his current contract is so low they can “trade his ass to Seattle”, to quote Big Ed Bookman, without worrying about what they get back, or about what $$$ they have to absorb.

    13. Raf
      January 23rd, 2011 | 12:51 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Those White Sox numbers are what I’m talking about, particularly if he has actually been dependent on PED the last few seasons. Plus, if he hits well for the Rays, he’ll start making noises about wanting a big bucks extension.

      Maybe maybe not, but even given PED’s, a .420 OBP is nothing to sneeze at. And if the hernia surgery takes, he may not be the force he was in his prime, but he’ll be able to do some damage.

      The White Sox numbers Manny posted are still better than what the Rays DH’s posted.

      But yeah, you’re right, if it doesn’t pan out, the Rays can take the easy way out given that Manny’s contract is easy to move.

    14. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2011 | 1:23 am

      I’m not saying he won’t be an improvement over what they had last year at DH. I’m saying he might never be MANNY again.

      And if he’s not MANNY, then he’s a 2-3 game improvement over what they had, and not a 5-6 game improvement.

    15. agsf
      January 23rd, 2011 | 4:27 am

      “and on occasion spell Upton in CF.”

      Then they are absolutely nuts. Damon can barely play left field. Might as well take someone from the stands to play center.

    16. Raf
      January 23rd, 2011 | 8:59 am

      @ agsf:
      Damon played a handful of games in CF last season, I see no reason for that not to continue. Given Maddon’s machinations, I have a feeling you will see Damon all over the OF. You may even see him @ 1b.

    17. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2011 | 11:12 am

      Raf wrote:

      @ agsf:
      Damon played a handful of games in CF last season, I see no reason for that not to continue. Given Maddon’s machinations, I have a feeling you will see Damon all over the OF. You may even see him @ 1b.

      Damon, in center, on artificial turf?

      Gee, Tennessse, I dunno about that.

      Well, if they do it, please let them do it vs. the Yanks.

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