Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon have both signed contracts to play for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.
Click here to see photos of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon
Tampa Bay was one of the teams hurt the most this offseason, losing Carl Crawford, Jason Bartlett, Carlos Pena, Matt Garza, Rafael Soriano and almost their entire bullpen (Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, Randy Choate and Chad Qualls).
Tampa Bay also spent much of the winter meetings quiet, allowing Boston and Baltimore to strengthen their lineups while they did nothing but grow weaker.
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One position the Tampa Bay Rays need help at is designated hitter but they might have gone a little overboard signing Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in the same day.
Ramirez hit .298 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox in 2010 with nine home runs in 90 games. Damon hit .271 with eight home runs for the Detroit Tigers in 2010.
Ramirez is getting $2 million while Damon signed for one-year, $5.25 million plus $750,000 in attendance bonuses. Damon will get $150,000 each for 1.75 million, 1.85 million, 1.95 million, 2.05 million and 2.15 million people in attendance at home games.
That is a good move for Tampa Bay since the city is notorious for not supporting their team at the ballpark. Tampa Bay even struggled to fill their stadium during the playoffs in 2010. Some speculate the lack of fan support for the team is why they were unable to afford to keep their superstar lineup.
Damon and Ramirez last played together in Boston where they helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series pennant in 86 years.
Fantasy Baseball Outlook: This is a tough call. Both players can be solid bench players but Manny Ramirez has more upside for fantasy baseball purposes. He was carrying a nice batting average before he missed time last season and can still hit with power. Johnny Damon is nothing more than a fill-in player at this point in his career. Go with Manny in later rounds and wait for Damon till the tail end of the draft.
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