Jon Heyman says Johnny Damon is a possibility for the Rays (not news) and that the team is interested in Andruw Jones (very interesting news). He adds that the Yankees are also showing interest in both players.

The problem with Jones is that he is just a shell of his former defensive self. In 2007 he was worth 23.1 runs defensively, but in the three years since then, he has only been worth 4.4 runs, total.

He did have his best year offensively since 2005 this past season. He hit .230-19-48 in 107 games. Yes, that was his best year with the bat in five years. So maybe the Rays can get Jones on a one-year deal and hope to catch Rays of sunlight in a bottle.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Spring Training tickets go on sale this week. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Rays are one of six teams that have offeref Jose Veras a minor league deal. Veras, a right-handed relief pitcher made 48 appearances for the Marlins a year ago with a 3.75 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 48.0 innings. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Yankees are still trying to sign Rafael Soriano according to Jon Heyman. [Twitter]
  • Tony Fabrizio writes about JP Howell’s recovery. Howell feels he can be back in April but it might be more like Mid-May. [TBO.com]
  • Dawn Klemish spoke with Matt Bush about the second-chance the Rays have given him as well as his influence on Tim Beckham. [MLB.com]
  • Rays Prospects interviewed Jim Callis about the Rays new prospects, Tim Beckham and the rest of the farm system. [Rays Prospects]
  • Radio voice Andy Freed has signed a three-year extension. Now if we can just figure out how to tell him and Dave Wills apart, we would be happy. [TampaBay.com]
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    14 Comments

    1. Sarah says:

      Wait....Matt Bush influencing Tim Beckham is a good thing?

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    2. Tone says:

      I am still trying to digest that Farnsworth is one of our top paid players. That sucks! If he was taking Dan Wheelers role I would feel less like vomiting, but he is either our closer or set-up man. That sucks!

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      • Andy says:

        Anybody we sign in free agency, no matter how "below-market value" the signing, would immediately become one of our highest paid players. This speaks more to the fact that most of our players aren't even arbitration eleigible than to whether we overpaid for Farnsworth. Its a distinction without any real meaning, other than pointing out how miniscule our payroll is.

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        • and that *is* the real meaning.

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          • Boxauthor says:

            I'm okay with a low payroll this year if it's in preparation for more spending in the future. If it's to compensate for last year, then there's really nothing to look forward to. On the other hand, maybe they're saving up for Pujols next year. He would look nice at 1st base.

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    3. Don says:

      Jones hit .230...oh boy!..Don't we have enough of that kinda of

      Jones hit .230...Don't we have enough of that kinda sunshine??

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    4. Brixology says:

      Great interview with Callis. And answered my question from the other day about Barnese. He's still high on him, just moved him down to 15. "Waiting for him to break out." Me too.

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    5. phil says:

      How about Jorge Cantu to play first? righthanded hitter career Ba of .274 averages 14 hrs...

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      • Justin H says:

        he barely even played for the rangers once they trade for him at the deadline, it's possible he's just better in the national league.

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    6. a.j. says:

      I know many people were displeased with Farnsworth getting over $3 mil...but Chad Qualls is about to sign for $2 mil! If it costs that for Qualls, who was absolutely horrid last year, then Farnsworth is a bargain!

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    7. a.j. says:

      Soriano is going to make $11.67 mil per year for the next 3 seasons to be a setup man for the Yankees! My question is: Is this good for baseball? If a top closer is getting paid over $12 mil, and now a top setup man will get paid over $10 mil, how long til we are paying top long relief guys $7 mil?! I just don't like the way it looks for the game. I guess time will tell what happens, but this doesn't help mid-market teams either...not just small market teams! You think the Twins can afford even $8 mil for a setup man?! It's just not smart for baseball! I hope Soriano gets lit up like a Christmas tree...not because he went to the Yankees...but because maybe then owners and GM's will learn their lesson on overpaying! I mean, who were the Yankees bidding against?! The Angels and White Sox had already said they were out due to Soriano's high price...and I hadn't heard of any other team showing interest...so who were they bidding against that they thought it was necessary to fork out that kind of money for a setup man? Fuentes or Rauch might cost us $10 mil since they're the second tier closers!

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      • Tone says:

        I hate the Yankees, but they have shitloads of money and this signing is good for them and bad for Rays fans. They have a great closer, but he is 40yrs old, so don't expect Soriano to be just a set up man. Mo' will get hurt at some point or start showing his age at some point; then Soriano collects saves. Yes they buy their wins and it never ceases to amaze me that people can root for a team that has such a huge advantage while somehow feeling this moronic "Yankee pride". It's a joke. Yankee and Red Sox fandom has been a joke for a LONG time now. But all that aside, our team looks bad this year. We have a garbage bullpen, 90% of unknown quantities and then Farnsworth(I wish he was an unknown quantity) and a line up that is pretty much terrible besides Longo. Our defense should be good except for 1st base where I think people will be surprised at how much they miss having a gold glove there.

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