Friday, January 14, 2011

Market Thinning for Manny, Vlad and Damon

Now that Jim Thome has signed with the Twins, the market is getting extremely tight for guys like Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon and Russell Branyon. Unless the Rangers trade Michael Young (which seems unlikely), their DH position is taken. That leaves us with Tampa, perhaps Toronto and perhaps the Angels. How will this all shake out?

The Angels won't go back to Vlad. That would be an admission that they shouldn't have given up on him in the first place. They won't do that. They are already a somewhat old team and Vlad slows them down even more. Johnny Damon seems to make the most sense as he can switch off with Bobby Abreu at DH and left field and both stay fresh. They are both terrible left fielders anyway, so either one won't matter.

It seems ungainly for Manny to go to Toronto. Not that Toronto isn't a great place. It's just so far north for Manny. The Fan can see the Blue Jays adding someone like Branyon who will be cheaper. The Fan had to laugh at "TaoofStieb" one of Toronto's best bloggers. His tweet was a take off of how many players have been talked about as possibly going to Toronto. Tao has a new "meme" with such a statement where you simply fill in the blanks. Hilarious.

Manny's best fit seems to be the Bay Rays. Florida seems to be the only glamor state he hasn't played in yet. The team seems loose enough to take him on and they have a very smart manager there that can make the best use of him. If the Bay Rays don't sign Manny, they could opt for Vlad as he still has pop.

Either way, it seems that somebody isn't going to get signed. Teams have shown a hesitancy to go with lumbering DHs these days and are looking for the position to be more flexible. Vlad and Manny are pretty much one dimensional these days. Branyon can play first reasonably well, but who needs a first baseman? Branyon could head back to Seattle for Round Three. Though it would be cool, just for interest sake to see Branyon play for yet a different team so he can keep his streak of hitting homers for every team he's played for, no matter how short that has happened to be.

The Yankees need a right handed bat, but Manny seems like a stretch. They will probably opt for someone like Andruw Jones. But the market is tight and if some of these guys want to play in 2011, they better start scrambling.

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