Johnny Damon, Depth, and the Manny/Vlad Scenario

Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez won a World Series playing together for division rival the Boston Red Sox.

My first thought upon hearing of the Rays signing Johnny Damon was a bit chagrined. "MANNY'S STILL AVAILABLE!" rang through my head. The more I thought about it, the more I think that the Rays getting both Damon and another bat is a major possibility. A few bullet points:

 

  • Friedman has been quoted as saying they would look to add "1 or 2 bats." He also has mentioned the desire for a middle of the order, impact bat.
  • Friedman spoke recently about missing on Rauch. That may mean there are extra funds that were going to be allocated toward the bullpen that may be allocated toward the offense. Additionally, with the possibility of a trade for a relief ace we may need to deal from the big league roster. 
  • We've lost a total of 693 games played this offseason. The departures of (in descending order by games played) of Crawford,  Pena, Bartlett, Aybar, Kapler, Navarro, Blalock, Burrell, Hawpe, and Baldelli leave a lot of games to be spread around. Of course we expect Dan Johnson to play more than the 43 games played last year, and we expect Navarro's playing time to go to a catcher rather than a Manny or Vlad. The thing is, though, there are still plenty of at bats to go around. Look at this table with rough playing time estimates for how to work Manny or Vlad in as essentially full-time players:

Player

C

1B

2B

3B

SS

LF

RF

CF

DH

Total

Jaso

120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

120

Shoppach

42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

47

D. Johnson

 

130

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

140

Zobrist

 

20

50

7

10

30

25

5

 

147

Rodriguez

 

5

100

 

10

 

 

 

 

115

Brignac

 

 

 

 

130

 

 

 

 

130

Longoria

 

 

 

145

 

 

 

 

5

150

Joyce

 

 

 

 

 

 

120

 

5

125

Damon

 

5

 

 

 

120

 

 

 

125

Upton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

150

 

150

Manny/Vlad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

130

130

Helliot

 

2

5

10

10

 

 

 

 

27

Fuld

 

 

 

 

 

5

5

5

 

15

Total

162

162

155

162

160

155

150

160

155

 


  • That is just a rough sketch of how Maddon might play the matchups, chase the hot-hand, and play around the injuries. As you can see there are still a few PAs to go around.
  • Speaking of injuries, that's one of the scary things about older players (Damon, Vlad, Manny, etc.) is their propensity to get hurt. The great thing is the Rays have the ability to adjust to injury better than probably any team in baseball. With Zobrist's ability to play nearly anywhere (same with Rodriguez), the Rays can pencil in names all over the board. If anyone hits the DL, be prepared to switch their name with Desmond Jennings.
  • This is just a thought, and I realize I'm probably setting myself up for disappointment. Another possibility could be a Troy Glaus who absolutely mashes LHP. He could work at 1B or DH against primarily LHP. 
What is the community's thoughts on these possibilities?

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