Rays in talks with free agent Johnny Damon

ESPN.com has confirmed reports that the Rays are talking with free agent Johnny Damon about a contract, although no deal has been signed yet. The Rays are looking to fill their vacant DH spot and Damon could also play part time in left field as well.

Damon, Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero are among several prominent veteran designated hitters still on the market. The Rays have been open-minded in their search, according to sources, but have only a limited amount of money to sign another bat.

The source said that while a Damon-Rays union “certainly could happen,” the two sides are not yet close to an agreement.

The 37-year-old Damon hit .271 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs with the Detroit Tigers last season. He has 2,571 career hits in 16 seasons with Kansas City, Oakland, Boston, New York and Detroit.

Speaking of Man-Ram, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes that the Rangers are pursuing the former Indian/Red Sox/Dodger/woman’s fertility drug user/White Sox to potentially DH for them. The plan is to use Michael Young as their primary DH, but he could also play first base and move Mitch Moreland into a part-time role. Of course, Moreland proved to be the only Ranger that could hit Giant pitching in the World Series, so maybe it would be best if Texas leave Moreland right where he’s at.

Getting back to Damon, I can’t see the Rays signing him unless he comes cheap. He can’t play the outfield on a regular basis because he has the arm strength of a tyrannosaur and he’s not worth more than a couple of million at this stage in his career. He’s a good clubhouse guy and he would certainly be nice to have in the playoffs but the Rays need to be frugal here.

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