Now that free agency in Major League Baseball has begun, everybody will be focused on the next contracts for guys like Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee. But there is another free agent out there with an even bigger name, who may not end up with a chair when the music stops … Manny Ramirez.
While a few teams could be interested in a player that would be an above-average DH. It is hard to imagine that anybody is going to give Manny a blank check like the Red Sox and Dodgers did.
Manny just concluded a two-year, $45 million deal that he signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2009 season. That came after an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Red Sox. That is $205 million in earnings, or better than $20 million per season for the last decade.
The problem is, Manny is coming off the worst statistical season of his career. He hit .298 with 9 home runs in a little over half a season (90 games). And while his antics in the outfield are good for SportsCenter, they are not good for a team’s efforts to, you know, win games.
On the open market, the 39-year old Ramirez would be worth considerably less than Bobby Abreu’s two-year, $18 million deal that he signed last off-season when he was 36. And being limited to DH means Manny is probably only worth a one-year deal for about $5 million. Scott Boras says Manny is looking for a one-year, incentive-laden deal.
But is Manny willing to play for what would be a 75 per cent pay cut? And how many teams need a DH and are willing to give up $5 million for a malcontent? The Blue Jays seem like one possibility, but so far, they have yet to show any interest.
Or is Manny going to end up like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa? Two players, like Manny, whose careers were plagued with steroids allegations, and were forced into retirement.
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