BALTIMORE - JUNE 30: Luke Scott #30 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a home run in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Camden Yards on June 30
After attempting to acquire Luke Scott two previous times in the past, the Tampa Bay Rays have finally done it. According to a report, they have signed Scott to a one-year deal with an option for a second year.
According to Dan Connolly from the Baltimore Sun, the Tampa Bay Rays have reached an agreement with Luke Scott. The contract is reported to be a one-year deal with an option for a second year, although the exact terms of the contract have yet to be released.
Scott will provide the Rays with some much-needed power from the left side, as he averaged 25 home runs a year from 2008-2010 with the Baltimore Orioles. He missed the majority of the 2011 season due to injuries, culminating in shoulder surgery last July, so the Rays are hoping that his offense will rebound and that he will be able to serve as an adequate DH for them.
But as I noted over at FanGraphs, there are some reasons to believe that Scott's power won't translate entirely to Tropicana Field:
Camden Yards may not get much publicity as a hitter's park, but it is a dreamhouse for left-handed hitters. Last season, Camden Yards boosted overall offensive performance for left-handed hitters by around 4%; even with its short right-field porch, Yankee Stadium only clocked in at 3%. The majority of this boost came in the power department, as Camden increased homeruns for left-handed hitters by 18%. That right field wall may be high, but that doesn't appear to be slowing anyone down.
Meanwhile, Tropicana Field is the most difficult park in the AL East for left-handed hitters...and it's particularly difficult for left-handed power hitters. The Trop suppresses homeruns from lefties at around an 11% clip, as the right-field wall is at a sharp angle and reaches 380-390 feet in right-center.
It's impossible to say exactly how much Tropicana Field will affect Luke Scott, but the Rays have likely already researched these issues and come to believe that Scott will still be better than the other options on the free agents market (Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero, etc.). Scott is definitely a gamble, but he's a calculated risk. If he pays off, the Rays could have their best overall lineup since 2009.
This deal is still pending a physical, and as Tommy Rancel noted on Twitter, the Rays' medical director is also the same doctor that performed Scott's shoulder surgery last July. They will get a good look at Scott's medical condition before signing him, which will help reduce their risk even further.
To join in the conversation about this move, drop by SB Nation's blog on the Rays: DRaysBay.