Tampa Bay Rays sign Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez

The Damon deal is 1/$5.25mil and the Manny deal is 1/$2mil.

I like it. Especially the Manny deal.

Manny can still hit. In 320 PA last season, his line was .298/.409/.460/.382/141. That’s good. He had a 1.6 fWAR, which means he was worth over $6mil. The Rays might be getting the STEAL of the off-season right here. The Yankees signed Andruw Jones for $2mil to be a part-time outfielder. Manny will be paid the same to be a full-time DH and hit a lot better than Jones will. I see no downside to this acquisition. The Rays didn’t have a DH, now they do.

I’m iffy on the Damon. He should be worth 1-2 WAR, so technically he will be “worth it”. But with the Manny signing, Damon will be the left fielder. At this stage in his career, he is a poor fielder. To me, it would make a lot more sense to stick Desmond Jennings there. He is ready and he is a top,big-time prospect. Even if Jennings struggles to hit, his defense should make him an equal player or superior player to Damon- at a cheaper price. Jennings could still patrol the outfielder if Ben Zobrist is moved to the second. While I think Sean Rodriguez should get a chance to start, a Damon-Upton-Jennings outfield with Zobrist at second might be a better lineup. Also, the Damon signing might open up the possibility of an Upton trade, a trade which could further stock the farm system or get ML talent to make the club better. So I’m neutral on the signing. It might work, it might not.

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