this rumor's coming around again, probably placed by Boras himself. Has anything changed since last musing on this? Well, looking at the Rays depth chart (as of 1/15/11), they've got only Matt Joyce as DH, while he's also a potential fill-in at all three outfield positions. I like Matt Joyce. He made some key plays & hits in two championship races, but his stats and a lifetime .243 BA don't sound like DH material to me.
Manny, on the other hand, is a lifetime .313 batter, (.586 slugging) with .298 last year in 30 games with the Dodgers (Torre hated him) & White Sox. Nine AL Silver Slugger awards and one World Series MVP. Salary for 2010 was $18.6M, which seems steep for Stu, but the Rays are a great-looking team on paper and they need a big bat. End of story.
Still, Boras apparently is shopping three of them... Manny, Johnny Damon, and Andruw Jones. I wouldn't take Jones... his slide was too precipitous, perhaps steroid related and he's almost always been a National Leaguer, so DH'ing is iffy for him. Some guys, I think, don't feel like they're really playing the game unless they get to take the field. Manny knows he's a great hitter, a Casey-at-the-bat kind of guy, and will take the kudos where he can, as long as there are some. Damon... well, this is probably all still true.
Interesting that Manny & Damon were both left fielders.... almost to underscore the loss of Carl and his instant irreplacability. I'm feeling sad all over again.
How about this? Damon goes to Tampa, Manny goes to Baltimore, keeping them both in the AL East where they belong, and Andruw goes to the Dodgers, home of the useless.
Now, what about a closer? Rays get Joba? Turn him into a killer closer? Gee, I hope not.
DOTF 6/18: Stone Crabs walk off
1 hour ago