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Rays “remain interested in” re-signing Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman

Nov 21, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

damon ap AP

Last offseason the Rays signed Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman to one-year deals and got good value out of both players, but rather than simply let them walk as free agents Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Tribune writes that they “remain interested in” re-signing both hitters.

“They are very prominent in our discussions right now as we’re going through things,” executive vice president Andrew Friedman told Smith. “I expect that will continue.”

Most likely the Rays will only be interested in re-signing Damon and Kotchman if the market for them is weak enough to create another bargain situation.

Damon hit .261 with a .743 OPS in 150 games, which is hardly top notch production from a corner outfielder/designated hitter, and at age 38 even maintaining that performance will be tough. Kotchman was much better, hitting .306 with an .800 OPS, but prior to signing with the Rays he’d been terrible for three straight seasons.

  1. spudchukar - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Bring back Kotchman. Trade Davis for a power hitting Right Fielder/DH/1B, preferably right-handed, to platoon with Joyce. Someone like Morse/Trumbo/C. Lee/Willingham/DeJesus/Rios or M. Young. Or bring up Guyer and/or Canzler (who would have to be moved to RF/DH), or move him (there are shortages of 3B options in MLB) and grab a closer.

    Perhaps a deal with Atlanta. Guyer and Canzler for Prado, Ross, and Medlen.

    Or even go after FAs Cuddyer/Nady or Ludwig.

    And then, if there is enough cash left consider Damon.

  2. bigdogpappad - Nov 21, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Aaron – nice shallow analysis about Kotchman, you obviously chose a small offensive sample which included a year with the absolutely clueless Mariners organization. The guy is closer to a .280 career hitter and should have a gold glove or two by now but has lost out to Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez Gonzales the past two years – he makes the infield so much better than given credit for.

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