Jon Heyman has this nugget buried at the bottom of his most recent column…

The Rays are looking or a DH and seem to like Vladimir Guerrero best, followed by Manny Ramirez.

This is interesting because Manny is represented by Scott Boras and it is well-known that Heyman is Boras’ voice to the public. So this doesn’t appear to be a case where an agent is artificially pumping up interest in their client.

Also, Jim Thome is off the market, agreeing to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Twins. While we would have loved to have seen Thome swinging the lumber for the Rays in 2011, it seemed clear that the Rays were waiting to let Thome and the Twins set the market for DH-types.

At $3 million, the Rays can now afford their pick of the litter. And if Heyman is right, that means Vlad will be the Rays’ DH in 2011.



  1. Greg says:

    That would be excellent. I was hoping for Vlad as DH. I think he is a better choice than Thome or Damon. I hope we get him signed soon.

  2. MJ says:

    This would be great imo. That contract Thome signed is good for the Rays and bad for Manny.

  3. phil says:

    rays payroll before Farnsworth = $32M + Farnsworth at $3.25M and Vlad at $3.0M = $38.25M Next up Jon Rauch @$4.0M…..$42.5M total payroll…

  4. Tone says:

    I hope this happens.

  5. Joe says:

    Odds we still sign a DH, 1B and CL?

    By which I mean Vlad, Branyan and Rauch.

    Manny instead of Vlad is fine, I can deal with Fuentes instead of Rauch and as for Branyan…we could use the pop that gold glover Kotchman wont give us.

  6. Bart says:

    Needs to be done. Vlad will be great as a Ray.

  7. a.j. says:

    I would love this! He can provide the most protection for Longo! If we make this happen, I look for Longo to have a huge year…maybe .320, 36 HR, 135 RBI!!! And Vlad rarely K’s! This will be a very nice addition!

  8. Phil says:

    vlad and Rauch would be fine…Dan Johnson/Zobrist at first with Zobrist helping out at second….

    Longo bats 3rd and Vlad 4th, Joyce 5th, Upton 6th

  9. a.j. says:

    The big question is who leads off? If Jennings is on the club, then maybe him. But that’s a lot of pressure on a rookie. Upton may actually be our best option…I can’t believe I just said that either. Maybe:

    • Don says:

      Jaso as lead off…he’s our best, esp. getting on base, Zobrist at 2nd spot. Now don’t say that’s not much speed, they are our “smartest” base runners and I’ll take smarts and medium speed vs. just speed and stupid…like Upton…
      Upton gets no where near the top of the order…if we had smart management…so there goes that theory!

      • phil says:

        I think Jennings should bat 9th to take pressure off him and let him get comfortable hitting at the major league level…Agree with you batting Jaso and Zobrist at 1 and 2 then you have longo, vlad, Matt Joyce and upton, brigniac, Srod, Jennings.

        Not a bad lineup!

    • Derek says:

      You know Maddon will have a LHP and a RHP lineup.
      LHP: Upton, Jennings, Sean-rod, Longo, Vlad, Benzo, Shopp, joyce, brigs.
      I hate that we now have to have see brignac agaisnt LHPs but whatever.
      RHP: Jaso, Benzo, Jennings, Longo, Dan-jo, Vlad, Joyce, Sean-rod, Upton.

  10. Japhei says:

    I prefer Manny Ramirez he simply crushes as the Trop and everywhere else. Vlad seems to be great the first 3 months of a season and then his knees / wheels fall off. At least Manny was trying to play the outfield something Vlad is incapable of doing as witnessed during the World Series. A Manny + Rauch signings would make us a beast and give us a stronger chance to repeat as division champs!

    • Derek says:

      “Trying to play the outfield” Neither will ever touch the outfield grass as a Ray, so thats not really an issue. Vlad had a pretty bad July, but really turned it on again at the end of the season. I agree that Manny is the better fit, (if healthy) but your reasoning is a little flawed.

  11. I don’t understand all this debate over a line up that will be used at best 9 times. Just grab the best players and they will hit all over the Mad Scientist’ lineup card.

  12. Sublime says:

    I was never really a fan of Jaso batting lead-off, I would at least like the “threat” of a stolen bases on the path, not ‘smart’ running. He needs to save all his energy for trying to throw someone out, how bout that!

    • Perry says:

      Hey Cork,

      Now that Balfour is going to Oakland, how about an update on the Rays draft day picks. We have a lot of them. Would some be trade bait or are we really going to pick all those players. Sure Stu and company have a plan. Sure hoping for our scouts to have a great year!

      • phil says:

        can’t trade draft picks however if the player you pick does not sign you get a comparable draft pick the following year…i know that is the case for the first round but not sure about the compensation picks….

        • ttnorm says:

          Compensation (D) picks are for the first 3 rounds only and you can not get a comp pick for an unsigned comp pick. This will likely change next year with the new CBA.

    • Derek says:

      Fact: Lead-off hitters are not the only guys that get on base.
      Fact: Crawford never hit leadoff, yet always lead the team in SBs.

      “I would just like the threat of stolen bases on the path”
      Upton, or whoever, is still a threat no matter where they bat.

      Dont think of it as who bats 1st, 5th, or 9th. Think of it as who would you rather bat ahead or behind player ‘x.’ Longo can bat 9th, as long as he has high OBP guys on ahead of him.

  13. John says:

    Won’t it be hilarious to watch Shelton’s head esplode as his ‘hitting philosophy’ runs up against the best bad-ball hitter in baseball?

  14. a.j. says:

    Manny just had a big problem being healthy last year. Not sure if we can take that risk. I think Vlad is a safer choice. I’m not going to be upset with either of them.

  15. Indiana Rays Boy says:

    I believe it when I see it. This is the same front office that was interested in Thome, Fuentes and Rauch but they came up empty handed. Friedman talks about having interested in certain players but doesn’t pull the trigger.

    • John says:

      If I’m not mistaken, Fuentes & Rauch are still out there.

      • Indiana Rays Boy says:

        Watch they won’t get either of those guys.

        • Indiana Rays Boy says:

          Watch they won’t get neither of those guys.

          • Derek says:

            Thats not what you said. He was just correcting you for saying “they came up empty handed” when really, all that happened was Thome gave the Twins a “home town” discount. Your post is one giant lie, really.

          • John says:

            This reply is to Derek, but the reply feature seems a little screwy.

            I’m not sure this is a hometown discount for Thome. Seems like market value for him. And I also think this was the Rays plan. The Rays weren’t going to overpay for DH (again). So they let someone else set the market value. Thankfully, it isn’t ridiculous like when the Tigers and Benoit blew up the reliever market.

          • Derek says:

            He turned down 4 million from Texas.

          • MJ says:

            Whether he gave them a discount or not, it still is what it is and it helps the rays.

          • Indiana Rays Boy says:

            I told you that Friedman wasn’t going to sign Rauch and Fuentes. He won’t fork over 3.5 million to Rauch or roll the dice on Fuentes but he can spend money on a hold your breath relievers like Farnsworth. Please!!! He came again empty handed as usual. If they are going with the bullpen by committee nonsense, they will have a long season ahead of him.

  16. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Man this would be sweet if the Rays got Vlad the Impaler!
    Hope it happens.

  17. phil says:

    Soriano was hated by almost everyone in Tampa Bay last year. His periodic hissy-fits over being brought into games in non-save situations, or being asked to pitch more than one inning wore thin on Rays manager Joe Maddon. The final straw was the last game of the season – Game 5 of the ALDS versus Texas – when Maddon asked Soriano to pitch the ninth inning with the Rays trailing, 3-1. After throwing a tantrum in the bullpen in front of all his fellow relievers …was this true?

  18. a.j. says:

    John, it’s been widely reported that the Rangers offered him $1 million more than the Twins. So, he did give the Twins a discount! For all we know, we may have offered him more than the Twins as well…but Friedman never reveals anything like that thru the press. Fuentes will probably end up in Oakland, due to him growing up 2 hours from there and he’s familiar with the division. Rauch is a very viable option for us, and I do believe he will be in a Rays uni by the end of this week.

  19. a.j. says:

    I just have a question? Why are so many people treating Friedman and Sternberg as if they’re LaMar and Naimoli?! The last 3 years have been winning years and one hell of a ride!!! Our team this year will most likely regress to around 80-85 wins on a much cheaper payroll, but still gives us a chance to overachieve that! The Yankees don’t have our rotation…so they have to figure out how to get to Soriano and Rivera! The Red Sox certainly look good on paper, but Beckett and Lackey are not what they used to be…along with an expensive, yet still shaky bullpen! I’m tired of seeing people write that we’re gonna suck, when we actually have a chance if our bullpen can figure it out. Hell, we didn’t light up the scoreboard last year offensively…so it’s still anyone’s game!

  20. Think maybe we can sign him for two years so we can have him both in our “reloading” year and our next real competitive year as well?

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