Oh, what a night.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Rays have agreed to terms with both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, pending physicals.
According to Heyman, Damon will receive a $5.25 million base salary with $750,000 worth of incentives based on attendance. Ramirez will get $2 million guaranteed. That’s right. Just $2 million. I think we have a new winner for best bargain contract of the offseason.
Are we sure the Rays are in rebuilding mode? Goodness. The American League East should be fun to watch this season.
Anyway, the additions of Damon and Ramirez all but guarantee that top prospect outfielder Desmond Jennings will begin the season with Triple-A Durham.
It’s not clear if Damon or Ramirez will be the primary left fielder in Tampa Bay, but let’s just state the obvious and say that either would be a tremendous downgrade from Carl Crawford.
UPDATE: Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday writes that agent Scott Boras conceived the idea of Damon and Ramirez as a package deal. Yeah, Damon’s deal isn’t necessarily a bargain, but at the combined price of $7.25 million, can you really complain?
UPDATE II: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that Ramirez’s contract does not include any incentives. So, it’s a flat $2 million. Jeff Francoeur is making more ($2.5 million) than Ramirez this season. Just saying. He’ll take his physical with the Rays on Monday.