Well, It’s January and nearly all of the big names are off the baseball free agent list, which means one thing: it’s time for the Rays front office to start to go to work. The Rays still need to fill in the first base and DH spot, as well as possibly adding a new batter to the lineup. So im here to suggest some simple, yet daring (but not to daring) solutions to the empty roster spots. It’s obvious the Rays need to add some pop in their bat for the 2012 season, so why not look right back to a guy who produced in 2011? Im talking about re-signing Johnny Damon to come back as the DH. Johnny was big in the lineup for Tampa Bay last year, and I don’t see why it would be a financial struggle to bring him back. In 150 games last year, Damon batted .261 (which actually isn’t that bad for a Rays hitter) with 16 home runs and adding 73 RBI’s. 36 of his 152 hits were for extra bases which is 42% of his hits. Johnny’s a hometown boy and has expressed his love for the area and his “dream team.” I think it would be great and logical if the Rays re-signed Johnny Damon. Not to mention I would love to see Johnny get his 3,000th hit as a Rays in the next few years.
Next is the first base situation, and I’m going with a different direction than resigning. Sure it would be great to bring back Casey Kotchmen or start the up and coming Russ Canzler from the Minors, but i’m going in a different direction. Im talking about going all out and making a trade. Now, if you do not know, Albert Pujols signed with the Angles this offseason, meaning that the Angles now have 3 starting first baseman capable of competing at the MLB level. Along with Pujols, they have Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo. The Angels have already stated that they want to move one to DH and the other to third base, but I and other sources believe that they could be looking to trade away Morales or Trumbo. I happen to really like Trumbo, and I think he could be as good(if not better) than Carlos Pena. I believe the Rays should go after Mark Trumbo and look to start him at first base.
In his rookie season, Trumbo hit 29 home runs and drove in 87 runs. Trumbo has youth and power and would be a great addition to that middle of the Rays lineup. The Rays added Luke Scott, a very strong baseball player, to play either first base or DH. Even with that I still think the Rays should make these moves to solidify the strong team that will be back in 2012.