The Rays made their first offensive move of the offseason, signing Luke Scott to a one year deal with an option for 2013. Scott was non-tendered by the Orioles earlier this offseason. This move will likely spell the end of Johnny Damon‘s time with the Rays. Scott will be a good power bat to go behind Evan Longoria.
As I mentioned yesterday, Andrew Friedman was hopeful he could get two bats before the start of the season. Well, now he only needs one. Scott’s deal will likely be a cheap one, considering his season ended after 64 games last year due to injury. I think this is a pretty good low risk move for the Rays. Scott has a good history, but comes cheap due to the aforementioned injury. If he can produce, this will be a great move.
Earlier this offseason I talked about a potential addition of Luke Scott. As I mentioned then, I like this move. Scott is a good hitter, batting .284 with 27 homers in 2010 and hitting .258 with 25 homers in 2009. If the Rays can get that kind of production out of Scott, this will be a very big move for the Rays. He fits in perfectly with their needs of a power bat and will fit in nicely in the middle of the Rays order.
Scott will most likely play DH for the Rays. He has played corner outfield most of his career, with a little experience at first base. He is not regarded as a great fielder, but he has more flexibility than Johnny Damon did, since he can play some first and outfield to give other guys a day off.
Now that the Rays have the DH spot accounted for, the question is who they will get to play first base. They can still make a big trade to get a guy like Mark Trumbo or Kendrys Morales, or they can sign a guy like Carlos Pena. They would provide power bats to go with Scott and Evan Longoria to give the Rays a more power lineup. They could also go back to Casey Kotchman, who doesn’t bring as much power but still had a great year last year for the Rays. Only time will tell what the Rays do to reach Andrew Friedman’s goal of signing two bats, but we can be sure that whatever he does will drastically improve the Rays offense, even if it is going back to Kotchman.