By now, most everyone has probably heard that Manny Ramirez was placed on waivers yesterday and that the Rays are one of a select teams supposedly interested in him. They discussed the rumors during the game yesterday afternoon and while there's growing momentum in the Rays' fanbase to trade for Manny, the odds are long that he'll end up with the Rays. At the moment, the White Sox are talking with the Dodgers and trying to complete a trade for Manny, and since they have a worse record than the Rays, they get first dibs at working something out. Apparently the Sox are hot after Manny, so my guess is that Manny doesn't end up in Tampa Bay.
Suppose, though, that the White Sox came to their senses. "Wait," they ponder, "We're currently 3.5 games behind the Twins and they're a vastly superior team. We've gone 19-18 since the All-Star Break and so why would we trade prospects and invest more money in a rental slugger?" If the Sox decided to pass on Manny Ramirez, would he make sense for the Rays?
In short, yes. Manny is a right-handed power bat, something that the Rays could definitely use, and has experience playing the AL East. He's projected to hit for a .406 wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average) for the rest of the season and even if we suppose he under-performs that and "only" hits as well as he has so far this year, he'd still be a .380 wOBA batter and a huge upgrade for the Rays at DH. He'd add around half a win in offensive value, which at this time of the year is incredibly valuable. Also, come the postseason, he'd make the Rays' offense more potent and less likely to be stopped by a dominant lefty starter.
Sure, Manny costs money. He's set to make around $4M the rest of the season, although $3M of that is deferred into the future, making the final value slightly less than $4M (inflation and all). As Matt Silverman said at the deadline, though, in for $25M, in for some more. If Manny somehow falls to the Rays, money should not be an issue.
The only thing we can do now is wait and cross our fingers. Maybe things falls through with the White Sox and Manny slips on by. Maybe the White Sox come to their senses. It's a long shot, but I'm hoping nonetheless.