Why HAVEN’T The Mets Signed Manny?

The biggest surprise to me this off-season, as the days to pitchers and catchers dwindle down–14 by the way–is that Manny Ramirez remains unsigned, and most surprisingly, that the Mets have made no effort to sign him. Omar Minaya has had a man-crush on Manny for YEARS, trying to acquire him pretty much since the moment he became the Mets GM. Yet now, when the cost of acquiring Manny is a mere draft pick, Los Mets are nowhere to be seen.

Let’s look at the Mets team for next season, do they have a hole in the batting lineup for a slugger? Yes. Do they have a need for a left fielder who can stay on the field? Yes. Is Manny Ramirez latino? Yes!

How is this not a fit? In the last 8 years, he has played 140+ games 5 times, which is plenty for a Mets team who last year had to deal with approximately 18 different left fielders last season. The addition of Manny to the Mets lineup would make their team much more powerful and more likely to be able to endure all those starts that the team seems intent on giving to Tim Redding. Do you have any idea what the Mets current situation at LF is? Here is the depth chart as listed on the Mets official site: Daniel Murphy (a ROOKIE INFIELDER), Fernando Tatis (old, highly unlikely to duplicate his stats from last year), Nick Evans (at best a 4th OF), Marlon Anderson (really?), and Angel Pagan (meh). Quite the murderer’s row.

Let’s take a look at the lineup if Manny were on the Mets:

Reyes SS
Wright 3b
Beltran CF
Manny LF
Delgado 1B
Church RF
Schneider C
Castillo 2b

Now that’s an offense that is going to score runs. Certainly more preferable than throwing the Murphy/Tatis/Pagan/Evans scrubs out there and just adding another out to the bottom half of the lineup.

So why haven’t the Mets signed Manny, or at least looked into it? When the off-season began, the Mets were falling over themselves to offer money to a free agent closer. They added K-Rod and JJ Putz, and their salaries without batting an eye. They were trying to throw $36-40 million Derek Lowe’s way until he spurned them for the Braves. They are STILL trying to toss money at Oliver Perez and the 900 walks he’ll have over 3 years.


My biggest wonder is whether the Mets aren’t revealing the full truth regarding the Bernie Madoff scamming. The Wilpons were supposedly in talks to buy an English Premier League soccer team, but have since dropped out after losing hundreds of millions with Madoff. While the Wilpons claimed that the loss of that money doesn’t affect the Mets in any way, I find it hard to believe that losing $300+ million doesn’t affect the bottom line somewhere. When the Mets entered the free agency market, they were looking to add premium pieces, those pieces remain but now they are only signing minimum risk/reward players. Really, what do the Mets expect to get from Tim Redding? They’ll be lucky if his ERA is under 5.5 and he only loses 14.

But, you add Manny to that lineup and now they can carry those weak pitchers every 5 days and not have to write off those games. Is Manny a pain in the ass? Sure, but didn’t Jerry Manuel stress that he’s “gangsta” and that no one messes with him. So, let him try and control Manny. Also, Manny is from NYC, so maybe the chance to play there will satiate him and his hurt feelings at not getting the $100 million he thought he was gonna get.

Worst case scenario, you get the pouty Manny that played for the Sox last year, that would be the .296/.388/.493 20 HR 88 RBI Manny for what it’s worth. Not too shabby. Certainly significantly better than anyone else the Mets can throw out there. Signing Manny would make opposing pitchers terrified of the top 6 in the Mets order. The addition of Manny would help revitalize Jose Reyes and with D-Wright and Beltran hitting in front of him, there would be endless RBI opportunities for Manny to clear the bases. The Mets are already conceding outs at the bottom of the lineup with Schneider, Castillo and the pitcher, having a ridiculously strong top 6, plus whatever it is that Church is able to provide will give the Mets an AL-style offense, which would likely outscore the Phillies by a fair margin. Since the everyone is gunning for the Mets still, they need to have the upper hand, and right now, I don’t see much separation between the clubs.

So. Whither Manny?

If the Wilpons are hamstrung by losing so much money that’s one thing, but if money isn’t the issue, then they HAVE to sign Manny. Offer him the same 2-years for $45 million that the Dodgers did, it’s not like he has a ton of offers coming his way. Give him a deadline. Tell Boras there will be negotiating, no back-and-forth bidding war between the Dodgers and Mets. One offer, take it or leave it. If Boras comes back and says “Oh, the Dodgers and a mystery team are willing to go to X dollars,” say, “Bon chance, see ya.” But since right now the list of suitors for Manny is one, the worst case scenario is the Mets don’t sign Manny, which they aren’t doing right now anyways. Since the team seems willing to go into the season with their scrub platoon of LF’ers there isn’t any downside. The upside is a post season berth, something that the Mets haven’t been able to get for a couple years, you might have heard about it.

Then once in the playoffs, is there a current player besides Manny that you’d be more scared of? The man is a monster, a scary post season hitting monster and cannot be stopped, but yeah, I can see why the Mets wouldn’t want to add him and his prodigious hitting ability to their team.

Sign Manny!

4 Responses to “Why HAVEN’T The Mets Signed Manny?”

  1. 1 Cary
    January 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Because Manny doesn’t try. Remember? Remember everyone hating on Manny for years? Even when he single-handedly hoisted a Dodgers team onto his dreadlocks and into the play-offs? That homer in Wrigley was insane.

    But it doesn’t matter. Because every member of the Boston media (including you at one time, Slanch) do not care how good a player he is. He has not shot steroids. He has not thrown a live firecracker into a crowd of spectators. Shit, he didn’t throw a broken piece of bat at Mike Piazza (which was hilarious). He’s just a dopey, kind of clumsy guy who happens to be perhaps the greatest pure hitter (sans steroids) in the modern era. I know, he threw an old man on the ground, but who hasn’t done that several times in their short 26 years of existence?

    Scott Boras is the only reason Manny hasn’t been signed yet.

    • January 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

      Hey, I agree, I was FURIOUS with Manny for the way he acted in the last days in Boston. But that doesn’t mean I think he isn’t an awesome player that any team would be better with. Sure, there is the knucklehead bullshit, but, like I said, Jerry Manuel says he’s the tough guy, so he should be able to handle it.

      Boras is the biggest reason, but then, if Manny hadn’t signed with boras, I think it is likely he is in boston again this year and the sox are celebrating being the first team in the 21st century to win back-to-back championships and is playing the first of his 2 option years. So, there’s that too.

      All I’m saying, there is no way the Mets are better off without Manny and there is no good reason for them NOT to sign him, unless the Wilpons are now suddenly broke city.

  2. 3 Mattraw
    January 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    They have to be sure they can lock up Ollie Perez for 5 years first. Gotta have my walks, I GOTTA have my walks!

  3. 4 shatraw
    January 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    yeah, since i’m now a big advocate of not considering how much a pay a player (as a fan, mind you), i see no reason to not throw some solid bucks at manny. (i mean, let’s face it: it’s not like ticket prices in NYC have a lot higher they can go.) i definitely don’t want to pick him up for 4 years, but 2 would be fine and three i could handle.

    oliver perez and manny ramirez are both boras clients and it’s no secret that the mets will, at some point, resign perez. my theory is that this is some sort of anti-boras tactic, to keep his nutballness somewhere in the realm of “check.” i see no way that the mets don’t take a stab at manny.

    unless of course, minaya has his heart set on abreu. at which point, the “Mail Your Shit to Minaya in a Box Labelled ‘Candy’ Campaign” will commence.

    as for redding, i expect Niese to beat him out in spring training and serve as a call-up 5th/injury reserve. not that i’m necessarily psyched about that, but i don’t see him in the rotation on April 1st.

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