According to mlbtraderumors.com, Johnny Damon has cleared waivers and could be traded before the end of August. From what I understand, teams put most of their players through waivers in the month of August to determine the interest from other teams. No team put in a claim for Damon, so the Rays are free to do with him what they wish. However, I can’t imagine him going anywhere unless the Rays were wowed in a trade. They don’t have a better option at the DH spot.
A similar thing happened last year to Damon when he was with the Tigers. There was a trade in place for him to go to the Red Sox, but he rejected the chance to join the band of Idiots again. He claimed he was hoping that Detroit would sign him for a longer term deal and he didn’t see much of a future beyond 2010 for the Red Sox. Would the Rays want the Tampa native past this year? As a team looking to stay in contention, I would say they could find a better bat than Damon, just as long as they don’t overpay for someone like Pat Burrell.
In just a few minutes, Jeremy Hellickson will take the mound for the Rays on four days rest. That may not sound like a big deal (that’s considered normal rest for starting pitcher’s these days), but consider that Hellickson hasn’t pitched on four days in almost two months. That’s remarkable considering he has been healthy and ready to pitch. The Rays are trying really trying to cut down on his innings, but at what price for this year? If the Rays get back into this race with a really hot August, are they going to be afraid to use Hellickson on four days for the rest of the year?
It will be interesting to see how well he responds today. Just in case you’re wondering, Hellickson is 2-2 on four days rest with a 3.73 ERA. He is 6-4 with a 3.05 on five days rest and 2-0 with an ERA around 2.00 six or more days of rest not counting his first start of the year. His best start of the year, a 3-0 shutout against the Orioles in May was on five days rest.