Rays Sign Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez

The Rays have officially signed Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, the team announced. Damon's deal is worth $5.25MM plus a potential $750K in bonus money based on attendance and Ramirez's deal is worth $2MM. Both players are represented by Scott Boras. 

We first heard that Damon and the Rays were discussing a deal, and that Tampa Bay was a "leading suitor" for Ramirez.  According to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (via Twitter), Boras pitched the idea of both of his clients signing with the Rays "as a package deal" given that both players were interested in playing for Tampa Bay.

The signings reunite Damon and Ramirez, who played together in Boston from 2002 to 2005, and it also brings both men back to the AL East.  Ramirez was a Type A free agent and Damon a Type B, but since neither player was offered arbitration (by the White Sox and Tigers, respectively), no compensatory draft picks are involved.

Damon likely moves into a corner outfield position (with Desmond Jennings filling the other spot), while Ramirez will be Tampa Bay's new DH.  Damon could also see some playing time at DH against right-handed pitching.  Damon hit .271/.355/.401 with 36 doubles for the Tigers last year.

In spite of injuries and controversy that led to his trade from the Dodgers to the White Sox, Ramirez still posted a .298/.409/.460 slash line in 320 plate appearances in 2010.  On a $2MM contract, Ramirez will be one of the winter's biggest bargains if he comes close to repeating that performance in 2011 over a full season.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated first reported the deal and added detail on Damon's incentives. For more on today's press conference, click here.

19 Responses to Rays Sign Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez Leave a Reply

  1. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Rays did really well here. Both signings represent tremendous value.

  2. leftysully 5 years ago

    Why do you list Jennings as the other corner OF? Most experts have Jennings starting the year in the minors with a platoon of Joyce, Zobrist and Fuld in RF.

    • I came here to ask/mention the same thing…I was under the impression that Jennings had to win a spot in spring and even then it might be a bench spot.

      • MetsFanXXIII 5 years ago

        I’m not familiar with the Rays particular situation, but I don’t see the sense in having a young guy rot away on the bench when he could play everyday in the minors.

  3. Lunchbox45 5 years ago

    WHAT!?? when did this happen!!

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Actually it hasn’t happened yet, time is no longer linear.

      • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

        The next thing you’re going to tell me is the Yanks signed an aged, semi retired, pudgy former cy young winner.

        You kids and your crazy rumours!

        • Slopeboy 5 years ago

          Just a rumour- the Yanks didn’t sign Mickey Lolich

  4. yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

    I still think the Rays signed both looking to deal them come the deadline. I think thats a good idea if it is true as with their system and draft picks they can wind up with a legit prospect at every position.

    • MetsFanXXIII 5 years ago

      If they are in the hunt then it would be hard to replace their offensive value.

  5. bcimmet 5 years ago

    Johnny Damon’s incentives are based on ATTENDANCE? I have never seen such a thing before.

    I assume it’s based on fan attendance (under the premise that Damon will bring more fans to the ballpark), but perhaps its based on his own attendance at things like practice and games?

    Seems very peculiar. Anyone know more?

    • woadude 5 years ago

      In other words, he won’t get any incentives, 100 dollar bills under every seat wouldn’t get any more fans to the game, they gave away tickets with the purchase of a car wash and still couldn’t get fans to come out.

  6. SmackSaw 5 years ago

    Manny’s hammy won’t play for $2 mil. That’s about 3 weeks worth. He’ll be on the DL around 4/20. Then, he’ll forget which hammy is bothering him. Soon after, he’ll fail a test for PED’s and get suspended for the remainder of the season. He’ll say all he took was pre-natal vitamins.

  7. John LeClair 5 years ago

    Prediction: Johnny Damon gets traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a bag of Baseballs, and says the following statement after arriving in Pittsburgh: “THIS is my Dream Team, I’ve always wanted to play here! My wife and I dreamed for playing for the entire 12 fans that we have!” Pitsburgh will state the trade was a fair deal.

  8. TheWeedInLincecum 5 years ago

    I’m just a little confused, why would manny, a prolific hitter who is arguably one of the top 5 pure hitters in baseball the past 10 years, sign for less than half of Johnny Damon? I know he didnt produce much last year however his pure swing should have gotten more money than 2m… I’m aware that he wanted to sign a one year deal to regain his credibility, but it’s Manny Ramirez we are talking about.

    • Slopeboy 5 years ago

      …’but it’s Manny Ramirez we are talking about.’
      There’s your answer.Manny is at the point in his career where his abilities are waning and teams no longer feel that they have to put up with his selfish whims.When he was younger, he could hit and at least run, even if his fielding was lacking, so his antics were tolerated. That’s no longer true. Case in point, this past season with the Dodgers. He was fine until they let it be known that they would not pick up the option, then he got ‘hurt’. He made no real effort to return in order to help in the playoff push. Then he had the ugly incident where he goaded the umpire into throwing him out of a game in the first inning, on a disputed strike call. Replays showed that he cursed at the ump and left him no choice but to run him. Then he put Torre and Mattingly in the tough spot of defending him, knowing the Dodgers needed him. No one said anything, but it did not go unnoticed by the other clubs.

      After Orchestrating his waiver deal to the White Sox, he appeared not to be interested and seemed to be just going through the motions in Chicago.While teams have not come out and stated it in public, it appears to be pretty evident no one is interested in him because of his recent antics. When you look at his resume and that of the many lessers hitters that were signed before him and at higher salaries, you can only come to one conclusion. No one is interested in putting up with his crap anymore. The Rays signed him for $2MM and for them that’s serious money, but if he acts up, they’ll eat the salary and cut him loose.

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