Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 4, 2009
BASEBALL: Manny Back In Blue

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like we're finally ready to go now that Manny Ramirez has at long last signed with the Dodgers. This offseason was one of so much suspended animation for such a long time, but slowly but surely the late-to-sign free agents have been coming into the fold - Oliver Perez back to the Mets, Bobby Abreu to the Angels, Adam Dunn to the Nationals - while Ben Sheets opted for surgery. Manny was the last of the really big names still out there, at least the last still near his prime (Pedro's another story).

Two years, $45 million is not a bad deal at all - sure, it's an outrageous salary for a guy Manny's age with Manny's durability issues, personality issues, and lack of contribution in the field and on the bases, but the man can hit. I'd have taken that deal happily if the Mets had made it.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:28 PM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Agreed Crank, and several factors make the 2/45 even better than you might expect for the Dodgers. The money is paid out over 5 years, 10 10 10 10 5. Manny can opt out of the 20 million dollar 2010 deal if he so chooses. And finally and most importantly the Dodgers are precisely the type of team that has the most to gain from Manny. Without him, they are likely about 5 games behind both the division (Dbacks) and the wild card (teams like the phils). But, with him they pull close to even in both of their shots at the postseason. As much heat as I've given Colletti in the past, he salvaged a potentially disastrous offseason by signing Manny, Furcal, and O-Dog to quite reasonable deals. The loss of Lowe hurts, but maybe the development of Kershaw and Kemp make up for it.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at March 4, 2009 9:17 PM

Funny that he was able to get that much, seeing as how no other MLB team was going to tender him an offer anywhere near that amount. Of course, after overpaying for Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones and Rafael Furcal, I should be accustomed to this sort of nonsense....

Posted by: RW at March 5, 2009 8:43 AM

It is surprising that LA gave him so much when no other team seemed interested. A year of unemployment would have been good for Manny's mental health.

On the other hand, if Manny doesn't underperform the way he did in his last season with the Red Sox, he will be worth every penny as you say.

Posted by: Jim Linnane at March 5, 2009 3:36 PM

All right, the offense and defense are ready. Now all they need is a pitching staff that won't blow up after the first ugly series in Colorado.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at March 5, 2009 6:57 PM

I always love the Manny threads here.

Manny was and remains a bargain to the Dodgers. He practically paid for the first year of this contract with last year's performance. He wasn't paid by the Dodgers last year, he was paid by the Red Sox. How much "found revenue" did he create nearly-single-handedly for the Dodgers. $15 million? $20 million? He not only kept them in the play-off race, he drove them to the Division title and the Dodgers got 4 home play-off games because of it. I realize baseball contracts are not about what you've done for me but what you are going to do but there is really no reason (other than the laugh out loud EWS that will be coming down the pike soon that says he and Johnny Damon are equivalent ballplayers) to suspect that he won't put asses in seats at a rate only a handful of ballplayers can do.

Durability? These are his games played since 2001:
142, 120, 154, 152, 152, 130, 133, 153. The 120 game season was when he broke his hand sliding into home. The 130 game season was an attitude thing. The 133 was a knee issue. How many guys have 5 142 game seasons in the past eight years? How many started that streak at age 29?

And yes, he was wildly unproductive in Boston last year hitting .299/.398/.528 with 20 HRs and 68 RBIs and hitting .347/.473/.587 his last month with the team when he was "dogging" it.

You can say a lot of things about Manny and in Boston the split on that guy is unreal. He did himself no favors with his actions, behavior and words that is absolutely for sure. But to say the guy isn't durable, productive or (most likely from a sheer economic perspective) worth what he gets paid flies in the face of reality.

Posted by: jim at March 6, 2009 11:55 AM

Jim is right about Manny, he was killing the ball during the supposed time that he was "dogging" it. We dont pay ballplayers to be choir boys, we pay them to win ballgames. And its not like he's murdered or robbed or raped anybody. The personality stuff is always way overblown, but Manny's performance and conditioning is undeniable.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at March 6, 2009 2:10 PM
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