Remember those Rays, who drafted so well, assembling a team of youngins, with names like Shields and Upton, and Crawford and Longoria? You know, the guys that uprooted the ever dominant and wealthy Red Sox and Yankees?
That band of upstarts?
Well, they are adjusting.
Carl Crawford is now a Bostonian, and shortstop Jason Bartlett, who cemented their great infield, is now in San Diego. Matt Garza is a Cub, while their catcher, Dioner Navarro, is well at best an afterthought.
They still have Longoria, and David Price, but Dan Johnson, the Athletics cast-off, is their starting first baseman as of now, while Sean Rodriguez is the second sacker.
Well, yesterday the Rays signed what could be a killer lefty/righty in Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez. And, you know, for what they paid--a total of $8 million for both--that could be a pretty good investment.
For one, Damon can still play in the outfield, and since Tampa still has Upton, that means left field.
Damon is now 37, while Manny is 38, and while both players are moving towards the end of their careers, and though both had down years in 2010, well, it is kind of fun to see them finish up their careers like this.
Between them they had 804 at bats last season, when they went .280-17-93. Over his career, Manny is .313-555-1830 and a pretty likely Hall of Fame candidate, while Damon is .287-215-1047. And, amazingly, Manny has just two more career hits--2573, to 2571--than Damon.
You could do worse in a deep AL format, in fact keeping an eye on that Dan Johnson character is not even such a bad thing to do.
As for the Rays, it has been fun watching them, uh, evolve, if you believe in such things. It will be fun to see where they go from here.