Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Problem With That Low-Ball Offer To Manny

We're not stupid.

We Dodger fans know exactly what is going on. Frank McCourt can't afford the price tag for Manny Ramirez, so instead of giving him the long-term deal that Manny and his nefarious agent Scott Boras want (and have made no bones about), McCourt and his henchman Ned Colletti go public with a short-term deal at an astronomical salary. And they tell every newspaper, so it gets publicized everywhere that the Dodgers have made an offer to Manny Ramirez.

True, it's an offer. But it also doesn't deliver upon the one thing that Manny Ramirez wants: a long-term deal. At root, the Dodgers' proposal is disingenuous and to think otherwise is absurd. This is basically set up to fail--it's clear that it will--and then McCourt can claim to the public that the Dodgers did everything it could. Which is not true, of course, because it didn't. But that's how the argument will go.

The few times that McCourt and Colletti have sacked up and spent a lot of money, they've pissed it away on injury-prone disasters (Jason Schmidt, $45M), weak-hitting slaphitters with no power (Juan Pierre, $45M), or both (Andruw Jones, $36M). That's a lot of money for assets which aren't contributing anything but depreciation on the bench. And here is a chance to spend something on what is undeniably a worthwhile asset, and we aren't even stepping up to the plate with a reasonable offer.

What's worse, I'm certain that, following a Ramirez snub, we will go out and spend that $45-55M on more second- and third-tier assets which will quickly become additional liabilities.

I know Colletti is dealing with the devil here, and I know negotations are difficult. I understand that a Ramirez signing has risk, particularly in the out years of the contract, but I also believe we have no other choice in order to give hope to the fans and have a potent team in 2009. If we're "over a barrel," it's unfortunate, but it's just as much due to the Ramirez/Boras show as it is to our willfully foolish spending since McCourt and Colletti started their term.

Three big deals, three busts. And now, one option right in front of us that's the closest thing to a lock than we have ever seen. And we're opting to put forth a pittance that will certainly be disregarded outright, and potentially even impede any further attempts at closing a deal in the first place.

And then, this story comes up, that Ramirez may be headed to the Giants.

Can the San Francisco Giants afford another multi-million dollar mistake provided by agent Scott Boras? Rumor has it the Giants have their eyes on Manny Ramirez and, if the price is right, he may be sporting the orange and black come next season. [...]

It’s no secret that the Giants need a clean-up hitter. Bengie Molina went yard 16 times in 2008. That is clearly unacceptable. Looking at that statistic makes one agree a move for Manny would be a good one. At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the discrepancy between Ramirez’s 2008 performance with the Boston Red Sox and his performance with the Dodgers.

After Manny left Boston, many Red Sox fans watched him in Dodger blue with scorn in their eyes. The lackadaisical Manny turned into the big factor in L.A. There is no greater insult to fans and an organization. If Ramirez moseys up the coast to San Francisco, AT&T Park will endure a big change.

People will begin to fill the seats more regularly as they once did. Hope will creep into the park just as the fog and seagulls do at every game. The cheers will be louder than the longhaired bespectacled vendor selling peanuts and Dibs.

Sure, it's purely speculative. Probably, it's Boras-planted. Yes, it's odd that the peanut vendors at AT&T Park also sell Dibs (I don't much like ice-cold peanuts, or salty warm Dibs).

But if Ramirez ends up with the Giants, would any protestation that "we made Manny an offer" really hold any water at all? Or would we have to face the fact that, 17 times a season, we'll be painfully aware of what we passed on?


Dusto_Magnifico said...

As soon as the idea that Manny could sign with any other team, immediatly the Gnats popped into my head. How mcuh of a blow would that be if they got him. They would instantly be a contending team. The worse part is that I can see them giving him 5 years.

Unknown said...

Ok, so I was just having a conversation with my friend. I think we should not go after Manny and instead of trying to win a World Series next year, shoot for 2010. I was looking at next year's free agent class. Maybe this sounds a little too ideal but check this out.

This year we re-sign Furcal, sign Sabathia, and a decent 2b or 3b, ideally Hudson, we should have the money to. This really shores up our pitching staff and our infield. Then next year we have Andruw and Schmidt coming off the books. That gives us plenty of money to spend on a certain LF that was just traded to the A's and money to spend on raises for our home-grown talent.

This sounds like it's too ideal, but it also seems pretty plausible.

Orel said...

Don't look now, but the Giants could be great in 2010, if they build well around Lincecum and Cain.