According to a tweet from Jon Heyman, the Tampa Bay Rays, jealous of all the attention being bestowed on AL East rivals Toronto Blue Jays, have signed both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez.
Damon’s one year contract is reportedly worth a guaranteed $5.25 million, while Ramirez will make $2 million.
By signing both Ramirez and Damon, the Rays are rolling the dice that Damon can still play the outfield on at least a semi-regular basis, something that the Detroit Tigers gave up on fairly quickly into the 2010 season. Assuming that B.J. Upton remains in center field, between DH and the two corner outfield spots, the Rays have five players that can fill those positions, including Damon, Ramirez, Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist and possibly Desmond Jennings, who you’d think would at least start the season in Durham.
Ramirez signing for only $2 million leads me to believe that the influence of Jim Thome’s contract with the Minnesota Twins was severely underestimated. Put another way, Kyle Farnsworth will make more money than Manny Ramirez next season.
Ken Davidoff is suggesting that Damon and Ramirez, both Boras clients, signed with the Rays as part of a package deal. Whatever that means.