I know that this is old news, but I wanted tLo write about it anyway. The Giants signed Randy Johnson the day after Christmas for 1 year, 8 million. There are incentives that could bring the final total of the deal to 13 million. This is a fantastic signing by the Giants.
The Big Unit came at a very cheap price. Only 8 million per year is a huge steal in my opinion, and I think that a number of teams should’ve matched this offer. I thought that the Dodgers were the best fit for Johnson because they had a lot of money to spend and could get him on a 1 year deal. LA has 34 million left to spend with only 2 holes – the rotation and the outfield. Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn or whomever could come in for at the most 22 million per year. That would leave at least 12 million to spend. That is the offer I would’ve made if I was Ned Colletti, the GM of the Dodgers. He got beat by Brian Sebean on this one, and it could cost them big time.
Randy enters an already good rotation to solidify it. The Giants can now boast a rotation of Tim Lincecum – Matt Cain – Randy Johnson – Jonathan Sanchez – Barry Zito. In my opinion, that is the best starting rotation in the NL West. This team could be in some major competition for the division. I think they have already pasted up the Diamond Backs in terms of talent. San Francisco has much more depth in the rotation, and one could make a case that they have a better offense as well. Right now, they are still a step behind the Dodgers. If because of nothing else, the Dodgers still have the much better offense and bullpen. There is only one thing that could make the Giants favorites to win the NL West…
Manny Ramirez. They are said to be aggressively pursuing him, but I don’t know how true that is. There has been zero competition with the Dodgers for his services. Because of this, he should come pretty cheap. Of course, Manny will still probably get at least 2 years, 40 million. I don’t know if the Giants could fit that into their payroll. They have about 88 million committed for ’09. Their highest payroll since 2000 has been 90 million. I don’t know if they will be able to go any higher, but if they have permission to go all the way up to 100 million, a signing could occur.
First, they would have to trade Randy Winn, both to clear salary and to open up a spot for Manny to play. One suitor that I think makes a lot of sense is the White Sox. They need a center fielder, and Winn would be the best available via trade or free agency. The ChiSox would probably be willing to take on the entire 8.25 million he has coming. So, if a trade like this does go through to dump Winn’s contract, the Giants would have 80 million committed. Give Manny 20 million in his first year and call it an offseason. They can then head into the season with a lineup of Fred Lewis – Edgar Renteria – Aaron Rowand – Manny Ramirez – Bengie Molina – Pablo Sandoval – Greg Bowker – Kevin Frandsen / Emmanuel Burris. Very good. If they make this move, they are the favorites to win the NL West in my opinion.
All of it is possible if they get approval to raise payroll all the way up to 100 million. If not, they’ll be in a dog fight for second place with the D’Backs.
Where in the world will Manny Ramirez go? The Yankees are obviously out after signing Mark Teixeira, and neither the Angels nor Mets are interested. I think it’s safe to say that the Red Sox won’t be signing him, so that leaves only the Dodgers. Of the other large market teams, the Cubs and White Sox don’t make any sense.
I guess that there could be some strange wild card teams, but most of the clubs people are throwing out there don’t make much sense for the team. For example, why would the Nationals want Manny? I understand that he would bring in a lot of fans to the game, but he would not make them a winning team. The reason that they pursued Teixeira was so that he would be there when they were a contending team. Signing Manny for a 2 or 3 year deal wouldn’t make sense, basically because they won’t be contending in 2 or 3 years. Not to mention all of the trouble he would bring to DC. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the trade block the summer that he got there, if he does indeed sign with Washington. I doubt it, unless he comes for only 1 year.
The Braves have the money and the need, but I doubt that Bobby Cox would even entertain bringing in a player with Manny’s attitude. Like the Nationals, I guess they could make an inquiry if Ramirez would come on a 1 year deal. That way Cox could always just deal him at the trade deadline if the team is not in contention or if Manny is Manny. Still, I would call it a stretch.
The Reds might consider Ramirez if the price drops drastically and they think they can compete. However, why wouldn’t they have just resigned Adam Dunn instead of signing Manny? Not the perfect fit, is it.
Since there is no great fit for Manny other than the Dodgers, I think he returns to L.A., but at a very under-market rate. Earlier in the year he was offered 2 years, 45 million from the Dodgers, but he declined. That was back when Man-Ram thought he could get a 6 year deal. The offer was pulled at the start of free agency, and no one has made an offer since. I still think that the Dodgers are interested, but not at the price they offered earlier in the year. My prediction is that Manny will go crawling back to the Dodgers while whining for the 2 year, 45 million dollar offer that he didn’t even consider. The Dodgers will respond by offering him 1 year, 20 million. Manny will go shop himself to other teams, but when he finds out that no one wants him, he will sadly accept the Dodgers offer.
It serves Manny Ramirez right that no one is interested. He was a lazy jerk to the Red Sox, and now he’s going to pay for it. Ha Ha!
I had to take the weekend off from blogging. Sorry I didn’t let you know, but let’s get back to baseball.
The Angels are out of the running for Mark Teixeira. They pulled out when team owner Arte Moreno concluded that Tex didn’t want to play for the Angels, and would rather go to the east coast. Their 160 million offer is off the table, so Teixeira’s next team will be the Red Sox, Nationals, Orioles, or possibly Yankees. The latter don’t seem completely involved, but you never know about a team that has Hank Steinbrenner as the president.
With the Angels out, the Red Sox seem like the clear frontrunner to me. BoSox president John Henry said that “we’re not going to be a factor,” but I believe that was just a negotiating ploy. Several baseball writers have said that the Red Sox offer of 8 years, 180 million is still on the table. I’m guessing that Scott Boras went to the BoSox and stated that he had a better offer on the table from a different team. It looks like Henry effectively called Boras’s bluff, because if the unknown team was the Nationals, they would’ve signed him by now. It couldn’t have been the Angels, because they’re out, and the Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that they had not made an offer. The Orioles appear reluctant to raise their 7 year, 140 million dollar offer. So it looks like Boston’s offer of 8 years, 180 million is the best on the table. This is just me trying to draw conclusions, though. No one really knows who’s offering what except for Tex and Boras. This is making me crazy!
Now that Tex won’t end up an Angel, who will? They have about 22 million left to spend, and are looking to add a power hitting outfielder. A cheap starter could be under consideration, also. Brian Fuentes could make sense if his price drops down; the Angels are his first choice because they will give him a closer’s job, play on the west coast (where he is from), and are a contending team. I don’t consider the bullpen or the rotation a need, however, and would rather just get a great bat.
You can’t call Manny Ramirez a perfect fit, but he sure does make a lot of sense. He can DH most of the time, and is truly the only bat on the free agent market not named Mark Teixeira that can scare pitchers. If I see Manny hitting behind Vladimir Guerrero, I’m just as scared as if I see Tex. I know that Ramirez doesn’t have gold glove defense, and he has an attitude problem, but there is no difference between the two hitting wise. For some reason I have a feeling that the Angels will pass, but I don’t think they should.
If not Manny, then Adam Dunn makes a ton of sense. Dunn is no Manny or Tex, but he is still a 40 homer bat that will bring you an OBP in the .360 to .380 range. A lot of people get blinded by his poor defense, low batting average, and lack of emotion, but he is one of the most consistent bats in the MLB. He also brings some versatility because he can play both first base and left field. If I were the Angels, I would DH him, because like I said before, he has poor defense. Some other options that would make sense for Anehiem are Milton Bradley, Bobby Abreu, and Pat Burrell.
So the Angels are out on Tex, the Red Sox and Nationals look like the frontrunners for his services, and the Angels could pursue Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Milton Bradley, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, or Brian Fuentes. I can’t wait to find out how all of this happens.
The Yankees would love to sign Manny Ramirez. There are 5 major reasons why.
- He is one of the most clutch players in the MLB.
- He can hit in the playoffs.
- Their offense is declining after the loss of Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi.
- He would bring their offense to a hole new dimention.
- A signing would tick off the Red Sox.
The only obstacle in a possible Manny signing would be the payroll. The Yanks are targeting a 200 million dollar payroll, leaving them with 10 million to spend. However, it is possible. Lets say that the Yankees win the Manny sweepstakes by signing him for 3 years, 75 million. Then they would trade Hideki Matsui. Since he was recently injured, the Yankees would probably need to eat half of his contract. So, they’re dumping 6 million right there. They also backload Ramirez’s contract. Pay him 16 million in 2009, 29 million in 2010, and 30 million in 2011. They’ll be able to afford giving him 29 million in ’10 because they are shedding the 24 million between Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady, and the money your paying to give Hideki Matsui away. Subtract Manny’s 13 million dollar raise and the Yanks have still got 11 million to spend. They don’t have many holes to fill after this year; only at right field, left field, and designated hitter. A first baseman could be aquired instead and that would allow the Yanks to move Nick Swisher to one of the above mentioned holes. Manny would take one, also.
I guess it’s not that likely that Manny ends up in the Bronx, but it sure is possible.
To complete their dream rotation, the Yankees have signed AJ Burnett to a 5 year, 82.5 million dollar contract. CC Sabathia and AJ get a combined total of 243.5 million from the Yankees. I think that both signings will look bad at the end of the contract. 5 years for Burnett is just way too much. Let alone the 16.5 million per year that he receives. I knew that some team was going to overpay for him, and it might as well be the Yanks because of their gigantic payroll, but it still doesn’t look good. I debated about how Ben Sheets was a more healthy pitcher and how he was also better when he was healthy here. I still think that Sheets would’ve been a better signing for the Yankees even if he got the same 82.5 million that Burnett got. But, they are the richest franchise in the MLB, so I guess they can afford to pay a lot more for a slightly better player, if AJ is even better than Sheets.
Talking about 2009, though, it looks like the Yankees are going to be a very tough team to stop. A rotation of Sabathia – Wang – Burnett – Chamberlain – Hughes would be completely sick. They might even sign another pitcher like Andy Pettitte to take Hughes’s spot in the rotation. Even though we still don’t know what the Red Sox and Rays are going to do, it is apparent that it will be a very tight race for the AL East. You could pick any of these teams out of a hat and I would believe you. It looks like there’s going to be some great baseball to watch in 2009.
Now that CC and AJ are under contract, who else will the Yankees pursue? Only 10 million is left in the case the Yankees stay at 200 million, but they could always raise payroll for the right players. It was at 215 million last year.
I know they say that they’re not going to sign Mark Teixeira, but that could change very quickly if the Red Sox pursue him. I still doubt they can match the offers of the Angels, Nationals, Orioles, and aforementioned Red Sox, but you never know.
Manny Ramirez is a huge dark horse possibility. It looks like the Dodgers aren’t terribly interested, and the market is very slow. Hank Steinbrenner wants him, and he usually gets what he wants. In the case of a Manny aquisition, Hideki Matsui would be traded. The Yanks would have to toss in some money, but it could still work. They would be shoving it in the Red Sox face if they sign Manny, and Ramirez would be the perfect consolation prize to the Red Sox signing Tex. On top of all that, Manny would be the clutch player that could come in and save the Yanks in the postseason while taking pressure off of Alex Rodriguez. This makes a lot of sense if it can be afforded.
Unless one of Manny or Tex is signed, it looks like they will sign a starter. Pettitte looks like their #1 target, while Oliver Perez or Ben Sheets could be their backup plan. It seems like they would like a short term deal. I doubt Derek Loe will wear pinstripes for this reason. The Yanks could aquire this 4th starter and/or a center fielder. Mike Cameron or Randy Winn could be had. I really like the Cameron idea. Cameron for Melky Cabrera would make a ton of sense for both teams. The Brewers create even more payroll to spend on pitching while aquiring a young center fielder with some upside. Cameron could be a stopgap for Austin Jackson in New York. This makes a lot of sense, but the Yanks might not be able to afford both Cameron and Pettitte. I wouldn’t put it past them, though, because they are the Yankees.
It is going to be a very tight race in the AL East no matter what Rays, Red Sox, or Yankees do.
P.S. Now that Burnett won’t become a Brave, will they revisit talks for Jake Peavy?
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Nationals are preparing to offer Mark Teixera 10 years, 200 million. If this is indeed true, then I think Tex will end up in Washington, especially since his home is in Maryland. I don’t see any team coming closer to this offer. I previously though the highest offer would be 8 years, 160 million, with that being a stretch. This, however, would not be a very smart move for the Nationals, nor would it for any team. I know they are growing into a large market, but why spend on Tex now. Why not just sign a big free agent when they become a good team? They still will be awful, and still have a pathetic offense. Plus, do you really think Tex is going to be worth 20 million per year in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th years of his contract? I don’t. If this does go through, the Angels might become the favorite for Manny Ramirez. He could DH on the other side of LA. They might go after Ramirez harder than the Dodgers because the Dodgers have an outfield surplus. If the Angels do miss out on Manny, they might turn to CC Sabathia. The Dodgers might decide to go that route also: CC over Manny. The Yankees will go crazy trying to get Sabathia to go to New York. If they miss out on him, then they become the favorites for Derek Lowe and AJ Burnett. There would be a large ripple down efect. So a lot of different things could happen in Mark Teixera signs with the Nationals. I don’t think it’s a good idea at all, though.
The Dodgers are up for some major spending this offseason. They have 50 million to spend and have many needs. They need to adress the rotaion, resign Manny Ramirez, find out what to do at shortstop and third base, and possibly add a second baseman. 50 million seems like a lot, but when you add it up, they are very limited in trying to fill all of their holes with good players. Manny will cost at least 20 million per year, Rafael Furcal might take 15 million per to convince him to resign, and that leaves only 15 million to sign a starter and a third baseman. Casey Blake could return for 8 million, and then a cheap starting pitcher could be signed. Or they could go after a better starter like Derek Lowe, Ben Sheets, or Ryan Dempster. They would have to settle with a cheap third baseman in this scenerio. Nomar Garciaparra might be resigned to play third. If they are willing to either let Manny leave or to abandon other needs, CC Sabathia could enter the mix. He’s from LA and would be willing to sign for 120 million to go to the west coast. With Manny and CC going to the Dodgers, the remaining 10 million could be used to resign Casey Blake. Then give the shorstop job to Chin-Lung Hu. I could see this scenerio, but I find it unlikely. This is going to be a very important offseason for the Dodgers.