Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why Manny Makes No Sense

I know I`ve said before that Manny Ramirez's antics never bothered me and had he not been on the Red Sox for much of his career he would probably be one of my favorite non-Yankees. He`s also one of the best right-handed hitters in the history of the game. However, now that he`s a free agent I don't want him. I`ve wavered back and forth on this and I love the idea of him hitting behind A-Rod as much as anybody but it just doesn't make sense.

First of all, his value is entirely in his bat. His arm isn't terrible but he has zero range. In Fenway that's not a huge deal since he can play the Green Monster well but in the New Yankee Stadium that'll be a problem. It also pushes Damon to centerfield where he`s a liability. That makes Manny a big negative in the field. I`m not going to bother trying to make a guesstimate on how much he`ll hurt the team with his glove but its a big factor and it greatly depreciates his value. If you`re going to give a guy as much money as Manny wants, he has to be the total package.

Secondly, he wants a 5 year deal and is 37. He won't get 5 years from anybody but 4 years is certainly possible and I`d be shocked if he didn't get at least 3. Regardless, he is old for baseball player. Not many guys can keep up the production Manny puts out from ages 37 to 40. Yes, he's a great player but if you look closely, he`s had a pretty normal aging pattern. He`s been declining steadily since his late 30's and its going to speed up as he gets older. By the end of his contract he`ll be entrenched in a DH hole that Jeter, Posada, A-Rod, or somebody else will desperately need to move into. I don't mind overpaying a little at the back-end of a deal to get a star player (Sabathia and A-Rod are perfect cases of this) but honestly, how many players are worth even 10 million dollars at 40? Let alone 25.

Thirdly, his contract totally prevents them from adressing other needs. They would have to withdraw their offer to Pettitte and go with Hughes starting 2009 in the rotation. This makes them lose a ton of rotation depth and Hughes could really use the time in AAA. Besides, even if Hughes is ready, then he`ll be on an innings limit with Joba and the bullpen will suffer. Also, forget about having a good bench. They can't add a Ty Wigginton type with Manny eating up 20-25 million every year. Manny's a ridiculous hitter but his glove takes away a lot of that value and he just wants to much money and to many years. Unless he settles for a much lower contract than he wanted, I have to say no thanks to Manny. Signing both A.J. Burnett and Manny Ramirez this offseason would really set this franchise back a few steps.