Scott Boras told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones and Manny Ramirez can boost fan interest, TV ratings and revenue for MLB teams. Not only that, the agent insists his clients can be key players on winning clubs.
"These guys are star players," Boras said. "They're championship-caliber players. Owners and general managers know they have extraordinary abilities, and they can be a force in the locker room and around young players."
Crasnick surveyed MLB executives and scouts about the three stars and heard the Angels and Rays mentioned as possibilities for Damon. The Dodgers, who have also been linked to the 37-year-old, are “unlikely” to sign him, according to a source familiar with the team’s thinking. The Yankees haven’t ruled out a reunion with Damon, but they’re only interested in him as a fourth outfielder, according to Crasnick.
Jones, another Yankees target, “still has value as an extra outfielder who can fill in at all three spots and mash left-handed pitching," an AL assistant GM said. The Braves briefly discussed a reunion with Jones and the Rockies are another possible fit.
Despite speculation that Ramirez could be a fit in Toronto, where former Red Sox coach John Farrell will take over as manager, it isn’t a likely match. In fact, Crasnick suggests Farrell’s familiarity with the slugger could make the Jays less likely to sign Manny. Tampa Bay could be a fit for Ramirez, who definitely wants to play in 2011, according to Boras.