If this Buster Olney piece is correct, and the market for players like Manny Ramirez is collapsing, there could be many good bargains out there – including, yes, Manny.
Olney implies Manny could be had on a one year deal worth approximately $18 million with club options for the next 2 seasons. That would indeed be a bargain, but how could Boras let Manny get a worse contract than the one that was so “awful” that Manny had to sulk his way out of it back in Boston?
So could the Yankees really be interested in Manny? Doubtful.
Say the Yankees could get Manny for $20 million a year. That still would put them over budget in a year that they are looking to cut payroll. If they’re going to go over budget, shouldn’t they just sign Teixiera, who reportedly is looking for $22-23 million a year? Sure, the amount of years will be greater, but Tex fits into the Yankees long term plans much better than Manny does.
And Tex isn’t a bad signing of course – it’s probable that he’ll be a good all around player for the duration of an 8 year contract. But he’s not a great signing due to the simple fact that good hitting first baseman aren’t all that difficult to find. If Tex played center or short or even third, he’d have much greater value. Some people liken Teixiera to Carlos Beltran, who the Yanks passed on a couple years ago, but there is a big difference between Tex this year and Beltran before the ’05 season – Beltran plays a premium position.
So where do Manny and Tex ultimately land? I really don’t see a market at all for Manny, but if the Angels are truly out of the Teixiera sweepstakes, then I think it will come down to the Angels or the Dodgers. You can never truly count out the Yankees and Mets, and maybe a Chicago team could emerge as a suitor (maybe the White Sox if they trade Dye) but keeping Manny in LA seems the most logical.
Despite the Red Sox posturing, I think they will sign Tex. Boras tried for his classic “mystery team” tactic to try and draw more money from Boston. And Boston’s response was simply “if they have an offer like that, we won’t be a player.”
But I doubt Boras really does have an offer greater than the approximately $180 million the Red Sox offered. Henry, Epstein, and company know how to deal with Boras by now. They’ll get back to the table and I think Tex will be in Boston for 8 years and probably around $185 million.
A lot of Yankee fans will despair over such a signing, but to me it shows the lack of confidence the Red Sox have in Mike Lowell and David Ortiz, two of their integral players who showed significant decline last season.