Not Manny Options Left

Manny has become a very lonely man this winter (edwardleger/Flickr).

Manny has become a very lonely man this winter (edwardleger/Flickr).

Thus far I have avoided writing about the whole Manny Ramirez saga and the “will he or won’t he” games that Boras and the Dodgers have been playing for the past couple of months. This is partially because if you want to read about that you can get it from a slew of other news outlets and blogs so there’s no reason for me to restate what has already been said thousands of times. The other reason is really simple:

I’m sick of it.

This cold hard fact is really too bad too because Manny Ramirez is my favorite hitter to watch in all of baseball (make sure to recognize I emphasized the word hitter in that last sentence). After all, he is the most dominating right-handed hitter of my generation and no matter how much we talk about him being in his own world most of the time, nobody makes a pitcher work harder to get him out than Manny. Nobody.

Where will Manny call home in 2009? (wheelo50411/Flickr)

Where will Manny call home in 2009? (wheelo50411/Flickr)

The unfortunate part of this whole ordeal is that the person benefiting from it the most is the weasel Scott Boras. No matter what happens it’s a win-win for him. Between last season and the time Manny gets signed he is at the forefront of the entire parade and gets the two things in this world that seem to make him tick: attention and money.

So while Boras gets to continue to feed his ego and his pockets, Manny sits without a home and without a place to get ready for the upcoming season. Now I’m not sure if Manny himself was not happy with the offers presented to him or if Boras is in his ear convincing him that he can do better, but regardless of which it is, time and options are running out.

Now whether you wanted to believe all the teams named as possible suitors over this winter or not is your choice, but the fact is that only the Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and Giants have been identified as realistic destinations for the future Hall of Famer. Of those, the Yankees have dropped out after spending a quarter of a billion dollars over the past couple of months and the Angels have too after a head scratching decision to just throw money at Juan Rivera and anoint him as their answer to their offensive woes. So with two of the four teams down, only the Dodgers and Giants remain.

I personally can’t get a good read on the Giants and their true intentions. Are they really entertaining the idea of signing Ramirez or are they simply hanging around to keep the Dodgers honest in their bidding’s for him. I waiver back and forth on this one as there is truth to the old saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Manny will always be Manny (ac4lt/Flickr).

Manny will always be Manny (ac4lt/Flickr).

So let’s assume the Giants are half-heartedly in the running. They aren’t going to give him a multi-year deal. They’re still gun shy from the Barry Zito mess from a few years ago and really don’t want to bog down their payroll with one player again. Plus if they really wanted to improve their team they’d spend their money more wisely and sign a combination of players rather than just one. In fact you could say the same about the Dodgers. Either team could sign a combination of Adam Dunn and Orlando Hudson for about the same (or possibly less) than Ramirez and Boras are demanding. That’s huge.

While I don’t believe the Giants are in the market to spend an extra $20+ million this winter, that really only leaves the Dodgers who have two huge bargaining chips with the fact that they can fill two big holes for the same price as Manny and the fact that there really is no market for him. Basically Boras has strong armed himself and Manny into a corner where they will most likely have to accept either less money or fewer years or possibly both.

I thought the perfect way to end this article was to present to you yet another gem from the stink hole of Scott Boras. Here is a quote from Scott in response to the Dodgers one-year, $25 million “low ball” offer he rejected immediately:

“What I do know, you better watch out when you’re playing chicken.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself Scott.

So watch out.

By Matthew Whipps
The Diamond Cutter
Major & Minor League Baseball Columnist
diamondcutter[at]columnist.com

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