Earlier this week, Andrew Friedman said the Rays will continue to monitor the market. The big name that the Rays have been linked to is Johnny Damon. Recently we speculated that this was evidence that the Rays are still trying to trade Pat Burrell, as the Rays would not be able to keep two DH-types on the roster.
But what if it is the other way around? What if the Rays will trade Burrell, if they can sign Damon? This is where the finances come into play.
In order to trade Burrell, the Rays would likely have to swallow some of the $9 million remaining on his contract. The amount they are willing to eat is likely dependent on how much of a discount they can get with Damon.
Let’s say the Rays think Damon is worth $8 million. They can’t just give Damon $8 million and swallow some of Burrell’s money (let’s say $3 million). At that point the Rays would be paying $11 million for his $8 million worth of production. Is that any better than paying Burrell $9 million for $5-6 million in production? Not for a team with limited finances and a payroll that is already $5-10 million higher than they would prefer.
But what if the Rays can get Damon for $4-5 million? At that point, the Rays would probably be willing to eat $3-4 million of Burrell’s contract. The Rays would be getting an $8 million player for $7-8 million and save $1-2 million on the payroll.
At this point it is just a wait-and-see game as the Rays wait to see how far Damon’s price will fall as his options continue to dry up. It is still a long-shot, but if the pieces fall in place, Damon could be the Rays most-days DH in 2010.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- “I told the Rays’ (general manager) that was the dumbest idea you’ve ever come up with…” That is a quote from Charlotte County Commissioner chairman Bob Starr on the Rays decision to sell the naming rights to their spring training home to The Mosaic Company. Roger Mooney also has quotes from The Mosaic Company [translation: We still want to move forward] and the Rays [translation: Oops]. [Tampa Tribune]
- One and done for the the Rays and the Florida Tuskers. Marc Topkin reports that the Rays have sold their minority ownership in the Tuskers after their inaugural season. The Tuskers played one “home” game at The Trop. [The Heater]
- Former Rays prospect Jason Pridie was claimed off waivers by the Mets…Pridie was one of three players (Demon Young, Brendan Harris) the Rays sent to the Twins for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett. [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
- Marc Topkin writes about how Rafael Soriano will make the entire bullpen better…We have written this before: The upgrade is not from JP Howell to Soriano. Soriano is not replacing Howell, he is only taking his job. Soriano is replacing whoever would have been the seventh reliever, and that is a huge upgrade. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Maddon wrote the foreword for Tim Salmon’s upcoming autobiography. [The Orange County Register]