According to Jayson Stark, the Rays are still in the running for Johnny Damon.
The Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays have also remained in the bidding, with both teams talking about one-year contracts for fewer total dollars than the Tigers’ offer. MLB.com reported that the Braves’ offer was for less than $4 million. The Chicago White Sox also have expressed interest, as ESPNChicago.com reported late last month.
However, the offer from the Tigers is said to be for 1-year, $7 million and they may be willing to add a second year to the deal. If that number is accurate, the Rays are not still in the running as they will not come close to that offer.
And if Damon is off the table for the Rays, that means the Rays opening day DH will be Pat Burrell. And that is not necessarily a terrible thing. If he is in better shape as reported, he should be motivated by the embarrassment of 2009 and the lure of free agency after the season. Will he be the 2008 Pat the Bat (.250-33-86, 102bb)? Probably not. But he should be considerably better than the 2009 Pat the Fat (.221-14-45, 57bb).
Luckily for the Rays, there is enough offense in the lineup, that Burrell isn’t needed to carry the team. They just have to hope he is not cement shoes in the deep end of the pool.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Don Zimmer will be honored today at one of my favorite places, The Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. It is the 2010 Annual Celebrity Dinner and Memorabilia Auction hosted by The Connecticut Sport Foundation Against Cancer. Among the guests expected to attend are Joe Girardi (who will bring the World Series trophy) and Evan Longoria (who will stick said trophy up Girardi’s tukus). [Facebook]
- BJ Upton will have his arbitration hearing today. Upton is seeking $3.3 million for his 2010 salary while the Rays are offering $3.0 million. This Rays front office is 3-0 in arbitration beating Josh Paul twice and Dioner Navarro last year.
- Want a BJ Upton game-used glove? It will only cost you $2,000 or about the same amount Bossman will make every inning this year. [Prospect Memorabilia]
- The ABC group is asking the City of St. Pete to reconsider their decision to pout and ignore the group. [10 Connects]
- Shawn Riggans has signed a minor league deal with the Mets. [The Heater]
- James Shields spoke to Bill Chastain about his off-season workouts (the same), wearing a speedo (umm, no) and being the Rays Ace. [MLB]
- Finally, another picture of Evan Longoria with one of our readers from his recent trip to watch the Lightning play: “I tried to talk to [BJ Upton] as well, but he was too busy mackin on the ladies.” Sounds about right.