Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (are we obligated to include the exclamation point?) reported late last night (via Twitter) that the Rays and Johnny Damon “appear to be closing in on a deal.” Brown adds that there is “still some work to be done.”

We had heard the Rays were also pursuing Vladimir Guerrero and Manny Ramirez. And considering the Rays’ need for a right-handed bat, we thought those other players would be higher on their list. But it appears now that those players are close to deals with other teams, leading the Rays to turn their attention to Damon.

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27 Comments

  1. phil says:

    better than nothing but would prefer Vlad

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    • Andy says:

      This.

      I think we can all agree that the bullpen will take a step back this year. And I think that (even if you view Johnson/Pena and Brignac/Bartlett as interchangeable) this move doesn't quite make up for the production we are losing on offense. And Damon certainly doesn't make up for Crawford's defense.

      Hopefully they get Damon AND Manny/Vlad. Otherwise its hard to look at this team on paper, and not conclude they've taken a step back in every phase of the game.

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      • Tone says:

        I think it's a given that they have taken a step back, but at least they are making a move to improve the 2011 team some. It would not have surprised me if Farnsworth was the big offseason move. Damon helps, now they likely grab one more key bat(not Manny or Vlad); Russell Branyan or Troy Glaus or Nick Johnson. This line up has potential after that. But no one thinks we are favorites for a playoff spot. If luck smiles on us and Zobrist/Upton put up numbers close to their high points, Longoria does what he has so far again, Damon does what he has recently, then this offense will be set. Luck has to shine bright though.

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    • Indiana Rays Boy says:

      I want Damon and Guerrero; NO thanks to Manny Ramirez. Let Manny play for Toronto. Napoli would be nice pickup that can play catcher and 1st base. Deal Shoppach for a somebody so I don't want to see Shoppach in a Rays uniform. I am not getting too excited yet but it is not official. When the Rays say that they are interested in somebody, they wind up not getting them.

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  2. Tone says:

    I like this, but he cannot protect Longoria; could there be another move? Troy Glaus for peanuts? Russell Branyan? Manny is the bigger threat, but I think Damon will be good for the young guys, he seems like a cool guy. I remember actually liking him with the beard, hair, and Yankee hurtin' he did back in the day. Seemingly he is now our number 2 hitter.
    1)Jaso
    2)Damon
    3)Zobrist
    4)Longoria
    5)Joyce
    6)Johnson
    7)S-Rod
    8)Brigniac
    ^
    ^could that be close to our opening day line up?

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  3. rays11 says:

    I like the the signing of Damon but this team needs at least two professional hitters. The signing of Damon and Vlad will be the best possible outcome at this point. But will the Rays be willing to pony up the money for both!?! thats the big question.

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  4. rays11 says:

    I know they are both DH types at this point in their careers but both can occasionally play the field. Damon can easily play 40 - 50 games in left and i think Vlad can still be used in RF spot starts. Too bad no solid 1B are left on the market. And i dont really consider Branyon or Glaus solid.

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  5. Roger says:

    We need to get Vlad to back up Longo. Our line up could be really damn good with Damon and Vlad addition. Now the bullpen hmm I might try and apply to be the closer.

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  6. MJ says:

    how much do we think damon will make (im assuming he gets 1 yr)? I am just trying to figure out if they can afford both damon and manny. That would suddenly give me hope, but i don't know if they can afford that. Seems like it would be just out of reach.

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    • MJ says:

      Perhaps getting both those guys gets some yankee and boston guys to cross over, or at least gets more people in the seats? This might factor in to how much they can spend on these guys.

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  7. rays11 says:

    I would love to see manny here but i think Vlad is the better option. Damon and Manny are both restricted to LF if they had to play the field. At least with Vlad he can play RF. I would love to see them make a trade for Billy Butler who can play 1B...we certainly have the prospects to trade to the Royals.

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    • MJ says:

      I'd rather see Vlad as well but i don't think they are going to pay what he is worth. Manny doesn't even seem likely at this point. I guess Glaus at something like 2.5 mil?

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  8. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Well if they do happen to sign Damon I'll behappy. They need another bat in the line-up and he'd be it.
    I would like to see them still get another hitter though even if they do sign Damon.

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    • rays11 says:

      Not a big Troy Glaus fan but pickings are slim at 1b. i would have rather they went after a Derek Lee earlier on in the process. Now there isnt much left as a dh/1b type. What i wish they would do is trade a few of their 10,000 prospects and picks for an everyday 1B with some power. Not to mention a few relievers as well!

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      • Gatorbuc15 says:

        Yeah I wouldn't mind seeing them pick up a 1B, but part of me believes that we should stick with Dan at 1st. He's got good power (IMO) and hits with some consistency; the only thing he needs to get better at is fielding.
        Now I do completely agree with you in saying that we need another reliever. The Bullpen is light right now.

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        • rays11 says:

          Well Dan does have some power and draws a lot of walks. But his .198 average in limited time doesnt show much consistency. I think he can eventually be a comparable hitter to Pena (low avg., good power. walks) but without Pena's glove. I think there is already enough question marks hitting on this team (upton, joyce, zobrist, brignac, jaso, rodriguez, johnson) at most every position, that we should bring in a few established hitters.

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          • Gatorbuc15 says:

            Oops, for some reason I forgot that he hit .198. Not a good sign of consistency at all. :/ Still think he's a good hitter though.
            But if the rumors are true about the Rays trying to trade for Mike Napoli then we won't have to worry about this.

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  9. rays11 says:

    I'd like to see them pick up a power bat. They could use a proven player who can consistently drive in runs besides Longoria. Damon is a nice top of the order guy but not a run producer.

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  10. Amy says:

    St. Pete Times is now reporting the talks are premature and nothing anywhere to close to a deal. We can all keep speculating.

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  11. Don says:

    I say sign all three ...and the one that DOESN'T die of old age or alziemers (i forgot how to spell it) before spring training will be our man!
    God helps us!

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  12. rays11 says:

    and the Rays swing and MISS again! Blue Jays to sign Mike Napoli! With all these so called prospects in our system and a zillion draft picks how can we lose out on guys we are supposedly targeting!

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  13. rays11 says:

    As others have said Napoli would have been a great pickup. a nice hitter who can play 1B and C....how much better would he have been platooning at C in place of Schoppach! But we heard after the playoffs last year how Maddon supports Shoppach! ugh

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