Why Not Manny Ramirez?

Manny is low-risk, high reward

I have made it clear since the departure of Jesus Montero that the Yankees need to add a legitimate hitter, advocating for  Chase Headley, Seth Smith, Clint Robinson, Billy Butler & Daniel Murphy among others.  However, since Cashman seems intent on signing an over-the-hill DH from the Free Agent trash heap that still remains, I have a recommendation for him.  Give Manny Ramirez a look.

This article from MLB.com explains Manny’s situation as it seems Oakland is zeroing in on him:

Baseball sources confirmed to MLB.com that A’s officials recently traveled to Florida to observe Ramirez’s workouts. If the two sides reach an agreement, Ramirez would earn slightly more than the league minimum of $480,000, according to the Associated Press.

We already know all of the reasons not to sign Manny, but under the circumstances, almost all risk is mitigated.  He will make absolutely nothing – available for the league minimum.  And although he will face a 50 game suspension, he is permitted to play in Spring Training games and Extended Spring Training Games.  So the team that signs him will get a long look at him to evaluate what he has left in the tank.  If it’s nothing, he can be dropped at anytime for no cost since I don’t believe he can even collect his salary while suspended.  Billy Beane may be making a wise move even though he already has plenty of options at OF and DH.  Manny will be eligible around June and if he shows promise, Beane will trade him to a contender.

The potential upside in signing Manny is obvious.  He was one of baseball’s best hitters of all-time and when motivated showed he could still rake hitting .311/.405/.510 in the first half of 2010 with L.A.  Since then he’s been either injured or suspended and there’s a HUGE question of what he has left, considering he’s 39 (40 in May) and will likely be playing without the aid of Steroids/HGH for the first time in who knows when. But there is nothing to lose.

The Yankees have been looking for Left-handed hitters since their opening is for a DH to play vs RHP.  Although Manny hits Right-handed, he has always hit both RHP & LHP very well.  In 2010, he hit .307/.404/.474/.878 vs RHP and for his career is a .305/.399/.575/.974 hitter vs RHP.

The bottom line is if Manny has anything left in the tank, he would be a great addition to the Yankee lineup providing a pure hitter capable of hitting .300 with power. Since he’ll miss the first 50 games and be used in only a part-time DH role, he should be able to stay injury-free throughout the grind of the regular season and be there when they’ll need him most in October.

I still think Cashman should be looking to make a trade for some of the guys I mentioned, but at this point it seems he’s focused on the FA pool.  So what do you guys think? Is Manny worth a flier?

About fishjam25

Was a 4-yr Pitcher and Communications Major at Seton Hall University in the 90s. His knowledge & opinion of the game comes from his background as a player and ardent lifetime Yankee fan. However, Fishjam also incorporates sabermetrics and statistical support to form a well-rounded view of the game.

Posted on February 19, 2012, in Hot Stove, Personal Opinion, Signing & Trade Speculation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I would take the chance on him. He is from NY so why not finish his career here. I’m not against him because the steroids we had many Yankees come forward to taking them. I’d give him a chance.

  2. Manny’s not an option in my book.

  3. I believe Manny is one of the worse team players I have ever seen and, I don’t like him at all!
    Having said that, what he has done elsewhere is between him and the other team. I would sign Manny if he would help us win more games, with the understanding, pull any of that stuff with our team and you and I have a date in a back street. No three or even two strikes, one and you are out.
    Fish has a very good point, why not take a chance on him, if he can still hit we would know by the end of ST…after all, he was/is the best hitter out there right now. In the mean time look for other people to fill in next year.
    Or, be dumb and bring up all the players we need from AA, AAA…although I still think we could find one or two guys that can do as well as Johnny/Ibanez.
    Billy Butler, Chase Headley, Clint Robinson, Daniel Murphy, Seth Smith would be a good start…as Fishjam says.
    Good call….Fishjam! 🙂

    • oldyankee, I’m not sure at all what see Manny during spring training would prove. It’s usually not until the last 10 days of spring training that the teams even play their “roster” players with any regularity. Then add on top of that that he still has to serve his 50 game suspension. I just think it’s a complete waste of a roster spot aside from the obvious “circus” implications having Manny on a Yankees team is going to create. At least that’s my opinion.

      • Manny has nothing to prove as a hitter. The long and FREE extended look from March til June will prove or disprove if he shows the following:

        1) The right attitude and work ethic
        2) Is in proper physical condition
        3) If he shows the bat speed and power

        In my opinion, there is nothing to lose. I’m not too worried about a roster spot since once the season starts, Feliciano & Joba switch to the 60-man DL and one or both of the Rule V pickups will be gone. There are several others who could easily be exposed and re-signed to minor-lg deals also.

        The minute he does something negative, you cut him. No risk. I would bet he could out-produce Raul Ibanez who’s OBP was .289 last yr.

        • You may be right. But I don’t think we will ever find out. I personally think Manny is “persona non grata” with many of the MLB clubs, including the Yankees.

        • As a side note. Now that the Burnett trade has become final we should find out within the next 24 hours exactly what Cashman intends on doing. Instead of just relying on “rumors”

          But, I do agree with you that regardless of who the Yankees sign as their LH (DH) come the trade deadline they will have the resources to tweak the roster if necessary. And if that means going in a different direction for the DH I have no doubt they will not hesitate to do so.

  4. THIS JUST IN:

    Yankees Negotiating Extensively With Raul Ibanez
    By Zach Links [February 19 at 6:06pm CST]
    SUNDAY, 6:06pm: The Yankees have a framework in place for a deal worth about $1MM plus incentives with Raul Ibanez, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The deal has been on hold, however, because the club first had to be sure that they didn’t have to take on a DH type such as Garrett Jones, Travis Hafner, or Bobby Abreu in an A.J. Burnett trade, Sherman tweets.

    There’s also mutual interest between Eric Chavez and the club in a return and that deal would also work out to $1MM plus incentives, but not before Ibanez’s deal is finalized (Twitter links).

  5. I think it’s obvious the Yanks are going to sign Ibanez and Chavez to finish off the roster. It’s not about the money but Cashman is conditioning fans to think about budget. 2014 he plans on being under 189 million.

    • Doug…
      You and uyf1950 maybe have it all figured out and be in the right on this one. I am of the opinion, unless one can find a better older player, why not let the young guys play. Well, there are a plethora of reasons not to bring up the kids but, I still contend; a younger hungry players, play harder! Playing better then the next guy, is what gets you in the door, ability helps put you on the roadway and talent will help keep one there.

      • OldYankee my friend, I don’t think I have anything figured out. Just sharing my OPINION like everyone else here.

        Just a quick thought about what you say concerning the younger players. I’m all for giving younger players their shot when there is an appreciable difference in what they can provide over the more experienced player. I’m not sure I see that just yet with the internal options for the DH spot.

        Having been around almost but not quite as long as you my friend. I happen to think and believe there is no substitute for experience either in the real world or the sports world. But that’s just my opinion.

        • uyf1950…
          If I offended you with my comment, I am sorry about that. I don’t try to take swipes at other posters, it is always in fun. I was joking with you guys.
          I wish I had it all figured out! Anyhow, your last 3 lines is, in fact, the truth!
          What I am trying to get at, and doing a very bad job of is; At some point, the benefits of experience don’t out weigh the ravages of age, nor the talents of the younger players.
          Like Posada, a one dementional player (Hitter) gets on 2nd but, instead of scoring on a single it takes a double or two singles to drive him home. Whereas, a younger player can score from 2nd on a single and can play defense better then the experienced hitter can.
          My opinion is, the best player should be given the job, rookie or old timer. Being an old timer, I’ll be glad to take the job? LOL
          Have a good one uyf1950… 🙂

          • Oldyankee – No, you did not offend me at all. I was trying to be cute, apparently I did not do a good job of it. Please keep up the good work. Take care, my friend.

  6. Old yankee and uyf, the Yanks are never in the mode of playing rookie’s to develope them. That’s what makes it hard for a young player to make it in NY. Kennedy and Joba are two examples. Cashman has done a good job keeping the Yanks competitive while adding younger players like Gardner and Nunez. I like to have the veterans as back ups. This year adding another young pitcher in relief like they did with Nova and Noesi will add to the pitching strength. Pitchers like Warren, Phelps, and Baneulos could get a chance. The next position player to come up might be Rommine mid year.

    • I’ve always thought the Yanks should look to incorporate one rookie hitter & pitcher every year. Last year was Nunez & Nova/Noesi and I thought this yr would be Montero & either Phelps, DJ Williams or Betances.

      With the moves they made I don’t see a rookie impact player this season barring injuries or breakout performers. However, the team’s pitching is still going in the right direction with Pineda (23), Nova (25) & Hughes (25) in the rotation and 5 strong starters in AAA.

      But the lineup is getting older with Nunez & Cervelli as the only players on the roster who will be under 29 this year. That’s not good since Romine is the only real prospect close in the minors. Montero’s absence will be felt for years to come and hopefully Cash can acquire a young, dynamic hitter for 2013.

      • I see a rookie in the mix with the one of the killer B’s making the team towards the end of the season. I don’t see a rookie bat being added though that will contribute.

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