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]

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10 Comments

  1. At this point, I think I’d still rather see Burrell as DH this year for the Rays. I think he’s playing for his baseball career and his production will show it. The market for 30-something DH’s who can’t hit any more has really dried up. If he doesn’t play well this year, he could be done. I honestly believe PtB will be the hungriest player on the Rays roster this year.

    Now if the Rays think that PtB’s problems are un-fixable (ie, he just can’t produce no matter how hard he tries), then I guess it makes sense to bring in Damon. He’s familiar with the AL East and can even provide a glove once in awhile. But, I suspect, if the Rays really thought PtB was done the Rays would’ve already made a move on him… money be damned. I think the FO has the same optimism I do concerning the Pat the Bat redemption tour 2010!

    • Don says:

      I can only respond to many conflicting statements in your post by asking you one question:
      Did you watch PTB swing a BAT last year???
      If you did…and you know anything about “really” watching a player and his abilities….you should know there is no coming back…Age has caught up to fat ass no matter how much he has worked out…
      If he is a better hitter this year than last year…. Than Jesus Christ’s resurrection becomes second place in all time…believe it or not!!!

      • Justin H says:

        You also have to look at the fact he moved from the NL East to the AL East and obviously wasn’t ready for that adjustment. PtB knows this is his last shot and I’m not saying he’s going to be great, but he’s obviously going to be better than last season. First year in the AL, first year as a DH, pretty tough to ask someone to make that move without any problems.

      • @Don. Your sarcasm is appreciated. I still say that if PtB’s on the opening day roster, then the Rays scouts disagree with your assessment about PtB’s abilities. I trust their assessment over yours or mine.

  2. stunna says:

    I don’t understand all the Damon talk. He isn’t worth the money IMO. If we only had another option in free agency. Maybe another outfielder, also named Jonny, although younger and much cheaper, who provided similar offensive production, more power, and was better defensively. Bonus points if said player adds a boost in clubhouse morale and is well-liked and respected by his teammates, coaches, and fans. If only such a player existed.

    Oh, wait…..

    • Beth says:

      I honestly don’t understand the pervasive man crush on Jonny Gomes. Yeah, he’s cheap and, I suppose, likeable, but he’s basically a .220 hitter who has occasionally in the course of his career had a hot month. He strikes out a lot and plays a merely acceptable outfield. I’m not saying I’d rather have Damon at $7 million. I would just hope there might be some options other than Jonny Gomes.

      • stunna says:

        I guess it’s just personal preference. Of all the available free agent outfielders who would be a good candidate for DH, I think Gomes is the only one that makes sense. And when you compare Gomes to Burrell, he is a dramatic improvement in every aspect.

  3. Johnny says:

    I don’t see Burrell being as hurrendous this season, and I see Damon showing his age, so I think keeping Bureell is the better bet.

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