Imagine Johnny Damon with the Phillies.
The Phillies would like to add a left-handed hitter for their bench. As of Thursday, two commonly mentioned possibilities - the Rockies’ Jason Giambi and Twins’ Jim Thome – had yet to be placed on trade waivers.
When Giambi and Thome do hit the waiver wire, other contenders are virtually certain to claim them – and other similar types – to block the Phillies from making a move.
Damon, on the other hand, already has cleared waivers, according to major-league sources. He has never played for a National League club. He has never been a part-time player. But he certainly would be an upgrade over Ross Gload, the Phillies’ current left-handed hitting reserve.
The Phillies, as usual, profess to be at their budgetary limit. Damon, though, has only about $1.25 million left on his contract. That number will drop to $830,000 on Aug. 31, the deadline for teams to set their post-season rosters. The Rays could include cash to secure a better prospect in the deal.
Damon, 37, is batting .263/.316/.398 for the Rays, with 10 homers in 492 at-bats. Gload, 35, is playing with a torn muscle in his right hip. He is 0-for-6 in August and 3-for-25 since the end of June, and has yet to hit a home run in 76 at-bats.
— Ken Rosenthal