Rays land Damon … and Manny

Open Thread: 10-0
For Once, Conventional Pitching Wisdom Actually Right

Via Jon Heyman, the Rays have agreed to terms with both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez. Damon gets $5.25M and some incentives, Manny gets just $2M. That’s the steal of the offseason right there. Tampa gets some much needed punch, even if both guys are well into their decline phases. Not even $8M for the pair? Unbelievable.

The Blue Jays traded Vernon Wells earlier tonight, freeing up a ton of cash in the future. Yeah, the AL East is not gonna be fun.

Open Thread: 10-0
For Once, Conventional Pitching Wisdom Actually Right
  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    this means Manny is gonna cut off Damon again some day, right? RIGHT?

  • mbonzo

    Great! Now Damon can’t help Burnett pitch better! Way to go Cashman.

  • Jerkface

    Would rather have Manny than Jones.

    • Stryker

      jones is a significant defensive upgrade over both manny and damon for less money.

    • Mattchu12

      Manny is the better player, but Jones is the better fit.

      • Mattchu12

        I don’t know why I hit submit, I wasn’t finished.

        You have to remember that unlike last year, we have a DH who hits lefties better than righties so it’s not like the Thames situation at all. We need someone who can play the outfield against tough lefties to sit Granderson and Gardner every once in a while.

    • mbonzo

      I don’t know if Manny would have taken a deal to be a bench player. He should be the everyday DH in Tampa.

  • Mattchu12

    This move greatly improves the Rays. Damon, Manny, Longoria, Zobrist, Jaso, and Brignac are pretty damn good. if Upton rebounds and Jennings is as good as people say? Damn.

    Count in Price-Shields-Niemann-Davis-Hellickson for your rotation, I’m just as worried about them as I am the Red Sox. Thats a good team right there.

    • Rey22

      The Rays weakness should still be their bullpen. Farnsworth ain’t scaring anyone.

      • Gonzo

        Good article on Fangraphs on why Krazy Kyle might be just as good as Jenks.

        • Mister Delaware

          He’s really never been that awful. If you’re expecting something bad to happen with a reliever, you’re going to be right atleast 1 out of 5 times and you’re going to remember the times you’re right.

        • MikeD

          Interesting. I was taking it from the other, negative (for the Red Sox) direction, which is that Jenks might turn out to be as bad as Krazy Kyle.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Disagree. Manny is a jerk who may cause problems on that team. Johnny is a 20 HR guy at Yankee Stadium (maybe at his age). 10-15 in Tampa with enough at bats which I’m not sure he will get at DH. If he is their 3rd outfielder…Rays not greatly improved, they lost CC, Pena, Soriano. Jennings unproven as well.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

        Manny’s teams are always good, so the “causing problems” nonsense really hasn’t come to fruition much in his career. He just wins. Clevelend, Boston and LA all went places in the playoffs they hadn’t been for decades before Manny arrive.

        • Mister Delaware

          Sooo … Manny is a winner. Suck on that, Ted Williams!

      • Mattchu12

        They lost CC and Pena, but they got Damon and Manny. Crawford was great, but if you factor in Pena’s awful season, Damon and Manny can duplicate their value I suspect.

        Jennings is unproven, but that means nothing. Montero is unproven. Gardner was unproven last year. Jennings is very talented and I suspect he will be very good.

        But you have to remember too that you’re looking at the team as a whole, and I think they have moer than enough bullpen pieces to replace Soriano.

        • Ted Nelson


          Crawford 6.9 WAR, Carlos Pena 1 WAR

          Manny Ramirez 1.6 WAR, Damon 1.9 WAR

          This was a nice recovery given their circumstances, but they lost 7.9 2010 WAR and brought back 3.5 2010 WAR… That’s a big gap to fill.

  • Brian

    There is no way that Moreno trades for Vernon Wells under any circumstance. The Yankees must have paid him off like they do the umpires.

  • Rey22

    My god the AL East is ridiculous.

    • Teh Comp Pick

      My thoughts exactly. The Orioles are like pretty decent….and yet still going to be miles behind.

      • MikeD

        …which is why the AL has been the stronger league for years. The depth is crazy. Sub-.500 teams like the Orioles would be over .500 in the NL.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I don’t think the Orioles of the past few years would be over .500 in the NL, certainly not the 2009 and 2010 versions. They wouldn’t be as bad but they wouldn’t be .500.

          • MikeD

            Yeah, that was a reach on my part!

    • squishy jello person

      I’ve been saying this since the end of October.

      • Mister Delaware

        I’ve been saying it since mid-October.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I’ve been saying it since like 2008 I win ;P

  • Monteroisdinero

    Don’t need Damon. Don’t want Manny who will not last the season in Tampa. He will fall out of favor IMHO.

  • Greg

    Red Sox-improved
    Blue Jays- improved
    Rays- improved
    Orioles- improved

    First time in a long time that every team in the AL East is reasonably good.

    • mbonzo

      I wouldn’t say the Rays are improved.

      • Greg

        I would say they improved the least, but their farm system keeps them in the ballpark.

      • Dalelama

        I dont think the Yanks have improved—no Pettitte, no Wood, no Berkman, no Thames, many key players one year older.

        • mbonzo

          2011 Martin/Montero > 2010 Posada/Cervelli

          2011 Posada > 2010 Berkman/Thames/Johnson

          4th Outfielder
          2011 Jones = 2010 Thames (Jones will earn fielding points but not hit as well)

          Setup Man
          2011 Soriano > 2010 Wood

          Starting Pitchers
          2010 Pettite > 2011 Mitre

          2011 Nova > 2010 Vazquez

          I would take a bet that the Yankees find someone to replace Mitre by the trade deadling, someone who would probably pitch better than Pettitte would this year.

          • dalelama

            I will bet you the Yankees 2011 regular season record will be worse than 2010. Montero isn’t on the club yet and Martin’s WAR numbers are similiar to Posada. Maybe Posada will be better than the combo you mention. Soriano will contribute more than Wood if he pitches all year as Wood was only with Yanks two months but was light’s out. Nova is a question mark. Arod, Posada, and Jeter all one year older and on the decline. What are odds Swisher and Cano meet or exceed last year’s production? The league is starting to figure out if you throw Gardner strikes he can’t hurt you. Overall I think our chances of winning the WS, which is my standard of success, are lower than last year.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          Weren’t you complaining Berkman did nothing last season

          • dalelama

            When he sucked yes.

    • Reggie C.

      I can’t believe Anthopolous has maneuvered the Jays into possibly having enough room to make a run at Albert Pujols. If Pujols gets his extension, Anthopolous could always still make a winning run at Prince Fielder.

      • Steve in PDX

        Tex, A-Gone and Pujols/Fielder in same division? No FA pitcher would ever sign a contract in the AL East again…

      • Chops

        If they sign Prince Fielder next year, could you imagine how many home-runs they would hit?

        Between Fielder/Lind/Bautista/Napoli/Hill, that’s potentially 200+ homeruns/year between 5 players.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      I wouldn’t say that the Yankees improved.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Yup, not until Mitre is replaced.

  • Reggie C.

    That Andruw Jones can punish LHP at an impressive clip will keep Yankee fans happy. Jones can still put together a productive season in a role that might only give him 300-400 at-bats. At his age and recent conditioning, we’re going to need Jones to stay fresh. Manny is a hands down bet to put up the gaudier numbers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his bat has slowed to the point where he won’t OPS .870; especially against better AL East pitching.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Just thinking about next year on the field and forgetting about money, not sure Juan Rivera and Napolitano are a big improvement over Wells and Buck. I do like Toronto’s young pitching staff. Cheap with a great future. Do we know yet if Toronto is on the hook for any of Well$$$$$?

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    Irrelevant Fun fact: Granderson will hit 40 HRs with the short porch in right.

    • Monteroisdinero

      He certainly projected to 30 without the leg injury. Any # over 30 would be awesome for a guy who doesn’t bat 3rd, 4th or 5th.

      • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

        Any # over 30 would be awesome freaking amazing for a guy who doesn’t bat 3rd, 4th or 5th. centerfielder.

        • Monteroisdinero

          Mickey and Willie thank you for that brilliant embellishment.

  • choo choo

    Irrelevant Fun Fact: In 2009 Melky drove in more runs than Granderson did in 2010. Second Fun Fact–Granderson–.249 to .247 to .245 and 150 strikeouts, if he’s not benched. Much more likely than 40 homers. Why?? because he stinks.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      2009 was Melky’s best year… he gone downhill from there, and likely won’t be coming back. Meanwhile, in 2010, Granderson was injured for a good portion of the season, and took a while to get into his groove before and after he got injured.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

        2009 was Melky’s best year… he gone downhill from there, and likely won’t be coming back.

        Ughh, not only did I make a typo, I sounded like The Hawk while doing it. Double fail.

        Oh and did I mention Melky sucks and will never be a 3rd of the player Granderson is?

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama


    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      Good one.

    • whozat

      Thank GOODNESS that we have statistics that tell us more about a player’s offensive contributions than AVG and RBI, or we might be fooled into thinking that Melky was somehow better than Granderson!

      Whew! Good thing that’ll never happen, or we might look really, REALLY dumb. Like…really dumb.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I love that you admitted the uselessness of your comment by calling it an “Irrelevant Fun Fact.”

      Melky had ONE more RBI in EIGHTEEN more games.

      Melky had 13 homers in 154 games in 2009. Granderson had 13 homers in 39 games from Aug. 17th to Sept. 27th in 2010.

  • mike hc

    Well, the al east race just got a lot more interesting. Hopefully the moves resemble the money paid rather than the name value.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    If Manny just got 2M I kinda wish the Yankees took a chance on him.

    • whozat

      To play him where? He can neither play well nor stay healthy in the OF. They already have a DH.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        But they need the big name! Ask Hal.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Meh…gives them options at DH. I dunno, always kinda liked him.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Don’t want Manny at all but the first time, 39/40 year old DH we have is overpaid for 2011.

      He’s making the same as the 27 year old NL MVP!

  • James A

    Damn, now the Jays will be able to keep Bautista
    I would need to see another good season from him, and I hated the way he acted like a punk last year, but hes set to be a FA after this year, and given his versatility and tools, (and the fact that Posada and possibly Swisher could be FA’s), he could’ve been an intriguing name for the Yanks
    Again, he’d have to have another good year, but its hard to argue with 54 homers, 100 walks, and a .422 wOBA

    • Poopy Pants

      He acted like a punk?

  • Phil Privitera

    Rays split here…Damon is good to have around team and mentor younger players. Manny is the complete opposite and could have an effect on younger players like Upton, Jennings and Brignac. They are bringing in Manny to help attendence figures in Tampa. That decision could spell disaster.

  • Lincoln

    Look at the big names (even if past their prime) that changed hands this year by free agency or trade: Dan Uggla, Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, Manny Ramirez, Vernon Wells, Juan Rivera, Andruw Jones, Victor Martinez, Mark Reynolds, Adrian Beltre, Adrian Gonzalez, Adam Dunn, David Dejesus, Josh Willingham, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Cliff Lee, Matt Garza, Lance Berkman, etc… I know that the Hot Stove is always cookin’, but I didnt expect some of these moves to turn out the way they did!

  • choo choo

    How great would it be to have Kennedy as a 4th starter, Jackson as the centerfielder and Coke as a hard throwing lefty in the pen rather than a clown like Granderson?
    Typical ridiculous Cashman move, notwithstanding millions and millions of dollars foolishly spent.

    • Mister Delaware

      Define “rather”.

    • mbonzo

      Granderson OPS’d .792 meanwhile Jackson OPS’d .745 last year.

      Would you rather want a guy like Jackson, who had almost a .400 BABIP last year and struck out an insane amount, going into the future, or would you prefer Granderson, who’s hit better last year and posted a .270ish BABIP? Granderson is a better player than Jackson so suck it up.

      Boone Logan > Phil Coke
      Pedro Feliciano > Phil Coke
      Phil Coke > Nick Swisher (pitching wise)

      As for Kennedy, he proved he couldn’t pitch in the AL East. He’s also a huge injury risk at this point in his career. I don’t really see much of a difference between him and Nova.

      • Chris

        As for Kennedy, he proved he couldn’t pitch in the AL East. He’s also a huge injury risk at this point in his career.

        I agree with everything else except these two points. He’s still young and didn’t ‘prove’ anything about whether or not he can pitch in the AL East. He struggled, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a solid back end starter.

        And why would he be a huge injury risk at this point in his career?

        • mbonzo

          He had nearly 60 IP in the AL East, which is enough sample size more me to not want him pitching in this league. Its not like he was lights out in the worst league in baseball either.

          As for injuries.
          With the Yankees:
          1. Back problems (lat strains)
          2. Major shoulder problems that will probably affect him the future (bursitis)
          3. He had an aneurysm under his armpit

          2010 was his first injury free year, so I don’t trust his health whatsoever.

          • Poopy Pants


          • Chris

            60 IP spread over 3 years is no where near enough to know how well he can pitch in the AL East. His performance in Arizona doesn’t bode well, but it certainly doesn’t prove anything.

            And for the injury issues:

            1. Back problems (lat strains)
            The lat is not the back.

            2. Major shoulder problems that will probably affect him the future (bursitis)
            Bursitis is not a major shoulder problem.

            3. He had an aneurysm under his armpit
            This is a fluke that is in no way indicative of future injury concerns.

            • mbonzo

              1. Yes it is the back, the name “latissimus dorsi” literally means “broadest muscle of the back”.

              2. Bursitis is a major shoulder problem like tendinitis is. Unless they altered his pitching mechanics, it means his motion does not work with his body, or it could mean his shoulders are ultra sensitive. By major, I mean its gonna come back, and itll always be a problem for him.

              3. Aneurysms have risk factors, just like any other disease. If he gets one in his 20’s, theres a chance he could have others.

              My point is that he’s an injury risk, and this should do more than prove it.

              • http://ww.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

                You’re taking things to the extreme here.

                Tendinitis is not a “major” injury. There’d be no pitchers left if it was. “Severe tendinitis” that knocks guys out for 4 months before rehab fails and a guy needs surgery is a major injury.

                Again, one aneurysm is not a “disease”. Someone who’s old and in a nursing home who had one at 75 is a risk to them in the future. People with high blood pressure/cholesterol are high risk obviously because their blood vessels are jacked up.

                Now no one has IPK’s medical record – but ARZ isn’t taking him if omgz his arm is about to fall off. And he’s 6′ 200lbs max? Anyone who predicts/assumes that he has high cholesterol or other risk factors is really just pulling that out of thin air.

          • canadian tuxedo

            Well by that logic than hughes shouldnt have been able to pitch in the al east after he stunk it up the same time ipk did

            • mbonzo

              In the 3 years Hughes was given to pitch in the majors he posted a 4.20 ERA and a 109 ERA+.

              In the 3 years Kennedy was given to pitch in the majors he posted a 6.03 ERA and a 75 ERA+.

              Hughes was also a much more highly touted prospect, and while Kennedy was once listed as the 26th best prospect, he was never expected to be as good as Hughes or Joba while in the majors.

              • http://ww.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

                Using 3 years is convenient huh?

                19 IP
                39.2 IP
                1 IP

                72 IP
                34 IP
                86 IP (But only 34 from SP).

                Going into ’09, Hughes had a 5.15 ERA, 88 ERA+ over 106.2 IP, then in 2009 he started with a 5.45 in 34.2 IP. Seems like Hughes “proved” he couldn’t handle the AL East after 2x the innings huh?

                Not claiming IPK was/is better than Hughes, just the mis-use of your innings.

      • Tom

        Granderson doesn’t strike out a lot apparently? Jackson is 6 years younger. odds are he will improve while granderson will decline, not to mention his salary compared to jackson. Jackson is a better defensive outfielder as well. What major shoulder issues did Ian Kennedy ever have? Yankees could use a solid back end starter which kennedy is. Was just a pointless trade as was the trade for javy.

    • whozat

      It’d be tough to handle the downgrade in production in CF, and I dunno if Kennedy would really be much better than Mitre, really.

    • nsalem

      When I disagree with a posters comment I usually see atleast a little merit it in what they are saying. That is not the case here.

  • choo choo

    Let’s accentuate those “meaningful” granderson stats–like–can’t hit with runners in scoring percentage–low on base percentage==can’t hit lefties—and—besides stats–runs to the fence in back on him and a ball hit in front of him.
    He’ll certainly be around for that 10 million dollar contract–just pay him in monopoly money.

    • Mister Delaware

      Define “runs to the fence in back on him and a ball hit in front of him”.

    • mbonzo

      Wow I didn’t realize this.

      He had the most strike outs in the American League

      He had one of the highest BABIPs ever, so no need to expect anything from him next year.

      His batting average takes a .50 drop with RISP.

      He only hit .167 with the bases loaded.

      Oh damn wait thats Austin Jackson, never mind Granderson kicks ass.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Granderson was also considerably better against lefty pitchers than Jackson last year. Not all that close, either.

    • Slappy White

      Whaaaaaaaaat ?

    • ShuutoHeat

      Did Grandy run you over with his car, crashed into your living room, trashed your gaming systems, burn your house down and then ate your pets? You seem hell bent in proving to people that Grandy sucks and that you have all the answer, while everyone else is wrong.

      I’m too lazy to look up numbers to argue with you seeing how you won’t listen.

      One question remains, what are you smoking? Pass it around, don’t be selfish. If you’re not smoking anything and really just a moron, I’m sorry I offended you.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

    This Granderson troll might be my Melkyloving friend. Good lord…

    Anyway good moves for Tampa. They have a solid DH platoon and Damon can probably play mediocre to average defense in either corner. Jennings-Jaso-Zobrist-Longoria-Upton-Ramirez-Damon-whoever the hell is playing 1B-Brignac is not a bad lineup.

    • Mister Delaware

      When you say “either corner”, I think “I’d pay a little money to watch Johnny Damon play RF against us for a night”.

  • nsalem

    Kennedy would be dogmeat in the Al East. Grandersons lifetime OPS with RISP is a 130 points higher tha Melky’s. Jackson has much to prove. Coke’s last inning pitched with the Yankees should remain the last inning he pitched for the Yankees. Your comments are equivalent to what Choo Choo Colemans skills were in MLB.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

    I feel like people don’t realize that just because the Rays got Manny for 2mil, the Yankees would not get him for the same price. Due to the market, the price for our FA goes up thanks to the abundant resources. In the interview NoMaas did with Cashman last year, Cashman said agents look for a lot more here and wind up signing cheaper for another team. It sounds unfair but you really can’t hold it up to the Yankee FO for not getting guys to these bargains. Well except Randy Levine, he sucks.

  • Youve been Randy’d

    Whatever happened

  • Youve been Randy’d


    Whatever happened to the hatred for Manny Ramirez by Yankee fans? This guy was our arch enemy on the Sox, hes a disease to any clubhouse and a selfish prick.
    But for 2 mil, damn what was Cashman thinking? Yanks should have signed him.

    I will never root for Manny Ramirez and if the Yanks had signed him I would have been unable to describe my anger for the decision.
    HOF player-yes. But i’d rather root for an everyday workhouse (like Thames) who is playing for the good of the team.
    Too bad Thames is gone, he was a genuine team player.

    • pete

      Even when he was on the Red Sox, I loved Manny. He’s been my favorite non-yankee non-pitcher for like ten years.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Was Thames playing for the team or for his next contract?
      /narratives are fun

  • choochoo

    I am hoping to hear from all you “Granderson Lovers” at the All Star break when your man is hitting .225, is leading the league in strikeouts, and is being booed constantly because he stinks so badly. Of course, I expect to hear that it’s all because of the Bad Luck that this clown has been experiencing.

    • pete


      1. Granderson will hit for a .370 wOBA this year and put up a + 9 UZR in center, coming in at about 5 fWAR.

      2. Jackson will hit for a .335 wOBA this year and put up a +5 UZR in center, coming in at about 3 fWAR.

      3. You will still somehow think that Jackson is better than Granderson.

    • Pasqua

      This angle you’re taking? It’s not working. Have you noticed?

    • Mickey Scheister

      Did you not watch him perform much greater in the 2nd half or do you just hate Grandy

      1st Half, OPS .718. 24 RBIs, 7 homeruns, 250 PA, .280 BAbip
      2nd Half, OPS .861 43 RBIs, 17 homeruns, 278 PA, .273 BAbip

      In similar number of PAs from the 1st to 2nd half of the season you see more HRs, RBIs, higher OPS & BA all the while a lower BAbip, which implies it’s not luck. If Grandy can put together two 2nd half type performances plus his normal good D, 9 outta 10 fans would be pleased with that!

    • Evan3457

      I wouldn’t be using the word “clown”.

      If I were you, that is.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      is leading the league in strikeouts,

      That is, in fact, Austin Jackson

      who you would hate for having 170 strikeouts and 4 homers, especially if his BABIP regresses to even just above-average rather than ridiculous levels.

  • Pasqua

    Rays are improved vs. where they stood a day ago, but they are still worse overall. Their bullpen is still a shambles, and after David Price, who should anyone be afraid of in their rotation. (“Big Game” James? Please.) I would be surprised to see Manny and Damon stay healthy, as one will have to be in the field each day if the intention is to have thme in the line-up together. This gets a big “Eh,” from me.

    • Josh S.

      Manny and Damon are going to be fighting for the DH spot cause neither of them can play the field everyday anymore. If this was 2005 or earlier, I’d be scared of them. Six years later, not so much.

    • Dave the Ox

      Agreed. Aside from the marquee names, both are diminished. Manny hasn’t been the same force since the PED revelations. Damon’s arm is what it is. Or it’s worse. The Rays used to have a fearsome outfield. With Damon at either corner, it’s just not all that.

  • Monteroisdinero

    With 4,000 fans at the games it is a matter of time before Manny makes/gets a phone call during the game.

    /see ya

  • http://www.globetreader.com Troy

    The Rays are quietly making some noise. They landed five players in the Garza trade that can contribute this year, and now they have a mix of veterans to go with it. Also, Upton, Zobrist, and Longoria could easily have big seasons. If they weren’t competing in the AL East I’d say their chances would be a lot better…