AP: Damon, Ramirez agree to deal with Rays

Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon are about to become teammates again, this time in Tampa Bay.

Both free-agent outfielders agreed to one-year contracts with the Rays, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreements were subject to physicals and had not been announced.

Damon gets $5.25 million and the chance to earn $750,000 in bonuses based on attendance, the person said. Ramirez gets $2 million.

The moves mark the first major additions for the AL East champions after a devastating offseason in which one prominent player after another left cost-cutting Tampa Bay.

Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano signed elsewhere as free agents. Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett were traded. A strong bullpen was depleted by the losses of Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, Randy Choate and Chad Qualls.

Ramirez and Damon played together for four years in Boston and helped lead the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title — ending the team's 86-year championship drought. Both colorful characters are well past their primes, but if nothing else they could at least provide an attraction at Tropicana Field for a Rays team that drew just 1.86 million fans last year.

The 38-year-old Ramirez began last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, then was claimed on waivers late in the summer by the Chicago White Sox. He hit a combined .298 with nine homers and 42 RBIs in the final season of a $45 million, two-year contract he signed with the Dodgers.

Hampered by injuries, the longtime slugger had 320 plate appearances in 90 games. Still a power threat, he likely will be a designated hitter for the Rays.

The 37-year-old Damon spent last season with the Detroit Tigers, batting .271 with eight homers and 51 RBIs, mostly as a DH. Weak-armed in left field and no longer the stolen base threat he once was, Damon remains very durable — he played 145 games last year and hit 36 doubles in 539 at-bats.

Angels-Blue Jays trade

The Los Angeles Angels are close to acquiring All-Star center fielder Vernon Wells from Toronto, giving them the big bat they wanted to add this offseason.

The Blue Jays were set to trade their high-priced fixture to the Angels in a deal that would bring back catcher Mike Napoli, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Friday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade was not complete. The deal was pending physicals, including Napoli's exam today.

FoxSports.com first reported the potential trade and said outfielder Juan Rivera would also be heading to Toronto as part of the deal.

There was speculation the Blue Jays would send cash to the Angels to help offset Wells' contract. He has four years left on his $126 million, seven-year deal.

The 32-year-old Wells is a three-time All-Star who hit .273 with 31 home runs and 88 RBIs last season. He made his major league debut with Toronto in 1999 and quickly became one of baseball's most promising players.

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