Poll: Who Will The Rays Sign To DH?

The Rays have been rebuilding their bullpen on the fly this offseason, but they're also in the market for a DH. Just yesterday we heard that the team seems to prefer Vladimir Guerrero to Manny Ramirez, though R.J. Anderson at The Process Report wonders why. Unless Scott Boras is asking for a king's ransom, he explains that Manny is the better option. Tampa has also been connected to Johnny Damon and Andruw Jones recently, two more DH options.

Jim Thome just took a $3MM guarantee from the Twins, which probably sets the market for the remaining DH's. That should fit nicely into the Rays' budget, who have some Matt Garza money left to spend. Some of that has since gone to Kyle Farnsworth though. Our Free Agent Tracker shows that Troy Glaus, Jason Giambi, and Russell Branyan are three more DH options available via free agency.


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46 Comments on "Poll: Who Will The Rays Sign To DH?"


Bob George
4 years 7 months ago

Manny is NOT a better option than Vlad. Manny, besides being a massive clubhouse cancer, is physically done as a hitter.

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

Physically done as a hitter? No. Fielder? Yes.

MB923
4 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t say he is done, but Manny Isn’t Manny like he was (With the bat that is. Personality, forget it)

renegade24
4 years 7 months ago

.410 OBP and he’s done? Okay.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

Is that when he plays, or while he is inventing new injuries to fake?

Just what a young club needs that already had Upton with laziness issues.. A veteran that thinks can get away with it any time he wants.. Think Friedman is smart enough to stay away from this turd.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

Saying it doesn’t make it come true.

MB923
4 years 7 months ago

With a team that’s wanting to cut its budget (although it already has for the most part), I don’t see them signing a Scott Boras client. If they sign one of the Boras clients, it probably will be Damon.

I’d say either Vlad or maybe Glaus, but I’ll go with Vlad.

BG921
4 years 7 months ago

I’m still hoping the Braves sign Andruw, but with that said I think Vlad or Glaus make the most sense. Joe Maddon has experience with both players from his days with the Angels so they could have the inside track. I think Glaus could be had a lower price since his numbers fell off after his various knee injuries last season with Atlanta, so he might make the most sense in that reguard.

4 years 7 months ago

A team full of bright, promising kids doesn’t want Manny around? Statistically I get what Anderson is saying, but from their point of view, you just don’t want to expose potential studs coming up from the minors to a guy like Manny. Manny being Manny was bad enough, at least when he was in Cleveland you never heard about it, you don’t want to risk your young guys to start being Manny too.

renegade24
4 years 7 months ago

Players are going to start acting like Manny if he’s around? That’s kind of hilarious.

4 years 7 months ago

Perhaps not the total package, but the younger less experienced players will likely pick up on many of his negative qualities. Have you never heard of a negative influence?

4 years 7 months ago

I’d go with Vlad. Manny is a cancerous head case. Vlad’s work ethic has never been questioned.

alxn
4 years 7 months ago

Manny is known as one of the hardest workers in the league off the field. I don’t think work ethic is the word you were looking for.

buddaley
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t think it is possible to make a less valid statement than this. Nobody who has known Manny has ever denied he is an incredibly hard worker who has extraordinary focus on maintaining his offensive skills.

As for being a clubhouse cancer, here is a player who has been on 2 World Champions and on post-season teams nearly every year of his career. Even if you don’t think he was a key factor in the success of those teams, which is itself nonsense, clearly he did not impede their progress. Nor can anyone point to a single young player whose career was hurt by being on the same team as Manny.

Supposedly he quit on the Red Sox, the major supposed black mark against him. Those who say such silly things forget to mention that his batting line during the time he was quitting was .347/.473/.587. Some quitting!

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

quitting is grumbling about not getting a fresh/brand new contract extension, rather than having the 20m 1 year options picked up and his retaliating by taking 3 down the middle in the 9th inning of a crucial game vs NY. Also, forgetting which leg was injured when he was sent to get an MRI on it, but guess that does not mean much either to some, nor does beating up a 70YO clubhouse guy that had been around the Sox for more than 4 decades.

Quitting (pouting also in Ramirez’s case) was Boston not going to tear up the pair of 20m 1 year options they held on him and giving him another 2 year gravy/lazy train, he was going to have to work for them and stay on his good behavior to get them both picked up…1 at a time, something Ramirez knew full well he ain’t capable of, so he quit. How so many can put on blinders to how disruptive this guy was the entire time he was in Boston, got away with it because NOBODY wanted any part of him or his salary is hard to understand.

It does not take a rocket scientist to go and look at his escapades either. Would make for far less posting about his numerous ill intentions if half would just research them.

buddaley
4 years 7 months ago

So you still refuse to deal with the fact that he was so disruptive that Boston won 2 World Championships while he was there and made the playoffs 4 of the 7 years and won over 90 games 5 of the 7 years he was there. Nor that he was so “done” in 2008 that he hit .396/.489/.743 and drove LA to the division title once traded there and then hit .290/.418/.531 the next year to help them to another title. So disruptive that he was in the post-season 11 times with 3 different teams and hit .285/.394/.544 then. And after supposedly quitting that he had a 1.060 OPS in Boston in his last month there.

I don’t deny he had incident,although the interpretations of them are suspect and the “blame” is not as clear as many would have it. Lots of great players, including Babe Ruth, have been difficult to handle and have been accused of “quitting”, which Ruth actually did more than once during various seasons. But Manny has been a magnificent hitter and an asset to every team he has been on, and his so called “cancerous” effect is nowhere in evidence either on the team’s performance or on any other player’s career. Whether he is still a great or good hitter is certainly open to conjecture, but that he has been an exceptionally valuable player and a winning player is not.

It is one thing to remember incidents that you find objectionable and to criticize a player for them (even if your memory is filtered through the team’s PR department and a hostile and sensationalist press), but it is downright dishonest to generalize from them about a player’s character or performance when the facts so clearly deny such conclusions.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

Interpretations? Ramirez signed those 2 1 year club options and had -0- intention of living up to them. When his worst behavior over the previous 8 seasons came out and all those actions i described came out within a 30 day period, not from his grumbling and wanting out of Boston during the 7 years prior when Boston would even put him on waivers.. Free to claim for anyone wanting him for the 20M per season left on his contract.

Then maybe with the mcCourt fiasco heating up, LA had enough of a show of itself going on to ignore what off field escapades Ramirez can bring, like beating down a 70YO clubhouse guy on a road trip. Really classy, then that’s team fed PR? Maybe Ramirez got his scheduled break over those 2 seasons during his suspension and was happy with his rest period.

Without any more of this arguing with rose colored glasses Dodger fans that always seems to appear.. We still don’t see any teams rushing to sign him. His past has seem to caught up to him somewhat ‘superbat” and all as some want to call it.

Buyer beware, but be forewarned.. His stle may be more fitting towards California and the wild places.. Where he belongs if he can even find a job there anymore without begging.

buddaley
4 years 7 months ago

We are conversing at cross purposes. Your concern seems to be Manny’s character. I won’t argue with you about that. I am skeptical of what we think we know; I don’t know the writers who accuse him or their sources or their motives. And I am fully aware of the complexity of such issues and the common practice of slandering players with innuendo and circumstantial evidence. All Boston fans have to do is read back into the history of Ted Williams. And currently one of the sillier assumptions rife among Rays fans is that Upton is lazy and uncooperative when from information I have the precise opposite is true. Nonetheless, if you believe he is a bad guy, fine. I don’t know enough nor do I care enough to argue it.

(I will add that the incidents you mention may be as you say. I doubt they are as simple as you make it out, but perhaps they are. It still proves nothing. I know lots of people who have lied but are not liars, who have done stupid things but are not stupid, who have sloughed off on the job but not been lazy or irresponsible.)

I am concerned with performance. It is reasonable to question whether the current incarnation of Manny is worth signing given his recent injuries and his age. But if anyone is speculating that his character has impeded his team’s performance in the past, s/he is talking nonsense. Nor can anyone provide a shred of evidence that he has interfered with any other player’s career. I doubt the Red Sox management would trade the two world championships for the option of not having to deal with Manny.

Many great players have been difficult-or were perceived as such. Just look into Ruth or the stories about DiMaggio in the late 30s or Clemente or Mays in SF. Later research provided much more nuanced understandings of the truth, and the same will hold true with Manny. But the essential point is that difficult though he may or may not be, Manny has been an integral part of winning teams.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

Why bring up Clemente and Mays in SF? They were the calmer factions in that city, if you want to bring up a “problem child” from the late 60′ early 70’s, it would be Bobby Bonds who ownership finally grew tired of his escapades as well and earlier on it was McCovey and Mays charged with trying to keep him on the ‘right path”, yet Bonds was a wild one whose career and antics are not hard to recall after these nearly 40 years. One thing Bonds did was show up and play, though he was a off the field pariah for his team PR wise and not for just drinking either as somehow you have lumped Ruth (way, way before me) in to Ramirez’s category.

Same with Clemente, one of the game’s all time good guys. it is curious why you go to such lengths to drag people like Clemente into this who never laid down on his team and drinking?? Wow.. Up until the mid 70’s some forms of drugs and alcohol was served with -0- care to the players by the teams themselves.

Check out the greatest of the games drunks like Mantle for proof of that, Billy martin etc… Booze was not a banned substance back in those times and many fans who recall those days can recall even reading of more antics from the greats, or taking of meds in abuse.

Upton is not lazy? That’s a good one. Check out how many times Maddon has to set him down for disciplinary reasons and not from talking back (on camera no less) but for failure to make an effort in the field. it’s 2-3 times every year.

I suggest you watch some of these other teams games, or read on players back before 1975 if not familiar with them 1st hand. i DO recall 60’s onward baseball 1st hand and see Upton every few months have to be disciplined by madden.. sat down for a few games that is.. for laziness in the field, failure to run out balls etc..

buddaley
4 years 7 months ago

Once again, we are at cross purposes. But I will respond to your claims.

I am not dragging anybody down. On the contrary, I am pointing out how wrong public opinion and the media can be about players. You need to do the research. Clemente was regularly accused of being a soft player who refused to play through injury and made up excuses about non-existent pains. Mays too, in SF, especially early on, was perceived by press and public as an over-rated player who could not perform in the clutch.

Many great players have been slandered in the press and the public has been gullible enough to believe the nonsense. Ted Williams is a classic case, but check the calumny heaped on DiMaggio when he sat out protesting his salary. Check out how many times Babe Ruth bolted his team in the middle of a pennant race; in this case the charges were legitimate unlike those against Mays or Clemente or for that matte Aaron who was accused of playing the game without passion in his earlier years.

As for Upton, you are dead wrong. He has had a few incidents in his young career and has never denied his responsibility or complained about the penalties. In fact, in one case Maddon sat him down because he was trying too hard, and Maddon wanted him to relax a bit. Every source with actual knowledge I have seen praise his work ethic and commitment to the game. Your hyperbole is an example of how “common knowledge” is so unreliable.

Incidentally, I too am old enough to be familiar with earlier generations of players, in my case from the 1950s, and have also read extensively in the history of the game. In the end, we are still not talking about the same thing. You are concerned with the supposed bad character of Manny. I refuse to make claims on that score being modest enough to recognize the facts are still only partially known but am certain that he has been a major asset to every team he has ever been on. I mention the false images about Clemente and Mays and others only to point out how mistaken we may be when evaluating players’ characters rather than focusing on what we really can know.

buddaley
4 years 7 months ago

We are conversing at cross purposes. Your concern seems to be Manny’s character. I won’t argue with you about that. I am skeptical of what we think we know; I don’t know the writers who accuse him or their sources or their motives. And I am fully aware of the complexity of such issues and the common practice of slandering players with innuendo and circumstantial evidence. All Boston fans have to do is read back into the history of Ted Williams. And currently one of the sillier assumptions rife among Rays fans is that Upton is lazy and uncooperative when from information I have the precise opposite is true. Nonetheless, if you believe he is a bad guy, fine. I don’t know enough nor do I care enough to argue it.

(I will add that the incidents you mention may be as you say. I doubt they are as simple as you make it out, but perhaps they are. It still proves nothing. I know lots of people who have lied but are not liars, who have done stupid things but are not stupid, who have sloughed off on the job but not been lazy or irresponsible.)

I am concerned with performance. It is reasonable to question whether the current incarnation of Manny is worth signing given his recent injuries and his age. But if anyone is speculating that his character has impeded his team’s performance in the past, s/he is talking nonsense. Nor can anyone provide a shred of evidence that he has interfered with any other player’s career. I doubt the Red Sox management would trade the two world championships for the option of not having to deal with Manny.

Many great players have been difficult-or were perceived as such. Just look into Ruth or the stories about DiMaggio in the late 30s or Clemente or Mays in SF. Later research provided much more nuanced understandings of the truth, and the same will hold true with Manny. But the essential point is that difficult though he may or may not be, Manny has been an integral part of winning teams.

buddaley
4 years 7 months ago

We are conversing at cross purposes. Your concern seems to be Manny’s character. I won’t argue with you about that. I am skeptical of what we think we know; I don’t know the writers who accuse him or their sources or their motives. And I am fully aware of the complexity of such issues and the common practice of slandering players with innuendo and circumstantial evidence. All Boston fans have to do is read back into the history of Ted Williams. And currently one of the sillier assumptions rife among Rays fans is that Upton is lazy and uncooperative when from information I have the precise opposite is true. Nonetheless, if you believe he is a bad guy, fine. I don’t know enough nor do I care enough to argue it.

(I will add that the incidents you mention may be as you say. I doubt they are as simple as you make it out, but perhaps they are. It still proves nothing. I know lots of people who have lied but are not liars, who have done stupid things but are not stupid, who have sloughed off on the job but not been lazy or irresponsible.)

I am concerned with performance. It is reasonable to question whether the current incarnation of Manny is worth signing given his recent injuries and his age. But if anyone is speculating that his character has impeded his team’s performance in the past, s/he is talking nonsense. Nor can anyone provide a shred of evidence that he has interfered with any other player’s career. I doubt the Red Sox management would trade the two world championships for the option of not having to deal with Manny.

Many great players have been difficult-or were perceived as such. Just look into Ruth or the stories about DiMaggio in the late 30s or Clemente or Mays in SF. Later research provided much more nuanced understandings of the truth, and the same will hold true with Manny. But the essential point is that difficult though he may or may not be, Manny has been an integral part of winning teams.

4 years 7 months ago

Hehe Manny is a head case. You can have him. I’ll take Vlad.

4 years 7 months ago

Something the Rays might be thinking is that Manny has never DH’d full-time before, whereas Vlad excelled at it last year. They just dealt with a first time designated hitter in Pat Burrell, who completely fell apart, and then appeared to put it back together as soon as he was playing the outfield again.

alphabet_soup5
4 years 7 months ago

Burrell was also a lifetime NL’er….Manny has proven he can abuse AL East pitching.

joeybw
4 years 7 months ago

Sometimes, Heyman likes to create fake interest in Boras clients so when he said that the Rays prefer Vlad to Manny, I believed him. If Glaus/Branyan come cheep enough, we need someone who at least has an idea how to play 1B.

tony_mciv
4 years 7 months ago

Pft Manny. Where is the Johnny Damon/Andruw Jones/Jason Giambi/Troy Glaus/Russell Branyan/someone else love?

4 years 7 months ago

dan johnson will be there dh

joeybw
4 years 7 months ago

He hasn’t put in more than 1.5 months of a season in what, 3 years? He likes to play hero in his short time in the majors but they aren’t going to count on him all season, not to mention that he doesn’t hit lefties well as it is.

MrSativa
4 years 7 months ago

The Rays have shown a penchant for signing hitters for what is considered a big contract in Tampa Bay totally washed up hitters.

They would be better off signing a guy a AAAer.

bacon_bitz
4 years 7 months ago

Maybe in 1999…when was the last time they signed a hitter who was already washed up? (And don’t say Pat Burrell because he put up a .875 OPS the year before they signed him)

budman3
4 years 7 months ago

Dan Johnson is the lefty DH/1st baseman. Pair him with a cheap option in Thames or Glaus(1-2 million) to play 1st base and you have 5 million to either pay Vlad to DH or Branyan(3 million) to play 1st base fulltime. Either way creates the flexibility that Maddon likes. And if they like Damon’s OBP and approach(seeing a lot of pitches) they can sign him to DH and bat ahead of Longoria and still be able to add a Glaus to platoon at first with Johnson.

vin050
4 years 7 months ago

i wish the nl had a dh so that my birdnals could sign manny. he is soooo money.

Victor Kipp
4 years 7 months ago

Manny can put people in the seats. You all know TB has a real problem with that, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they signed Manny.

budman3
4 years 7 months ago

No one in the Bay area is going to go to the games just because Manny is on the team. Maybe in some other town starved for a drama story or field follies. Remember, the Rays didn’t drawn with the best team in baseball last year. Why would one often injured player, who would only get seen hitting 4-5 times a game draw fans? I think Friedman understands that also. And Manny is not about to hit 50 HR’s anymore either. His best days are over, because of his health,

4 years 7 months ago

Ask Red Sox, Dodger, and White Sox fans if they want Ramirez back; ask their players too.

Then ask Ranger and Angel players if they want Vlad back… No contest who gets the love.

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

I’m thinking Branyan for the Rays. He fits their salary scale, can play LF, 1B, 3B in a pinch and DH. Tampa is in a rebuilding mode this year,despite their good starting pitching and is not going to invest big money on any of the marquee DH’s

branyfan
4 years 7 months ago

Sign Branyan.Sign him now!

branyfan
4 years 7 months ago

Sign Branyan.Sign him now!

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

wanna do it against Vlads road splits last year too? hehe Manny is awesome and will continue on being awesome next year.

j6takish
4 years 7 months ago

Not defending his production, but that OBP is pretty ridiculous for someone who hit under 200. Baffling almost

start_wearing_purple
4 years 7 months ago

Kinda like how Cliff Lee was going to go to the yanks?

Personally I’ll wait until the ink on a contract is dry.

diesel2410
4 years 7 months ago

No chance of contending? If they get a solid DH and another good reliever, they can contend. Of course it’s hard in the AL East, but don’t count them out. It’s unlikely, but anything can happen

wutangklanodb
4 years 7 months ago

no one thought we’d contend in 2008 either, just saying…

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

With Pena having gone, Johnson becomes their 1B by default.

wutangklanodb
4 years 7 months ago

they also can play Ben Zobrist there, he should that ability last season. though I doubt he’d ever take it on as a full time role because he’s too valuable to lock down at first base.