Manny Ramirez wants to come to Seattle?

Jeff · November 23, 2005 at 12:15 am · Filed Under Mariners 

That’s what the Boston Herald says, claiming that the mercurial masher wishes a trade to the M’s or the Angels.

Manny Ramirez’ fondest wish – currently – is to play for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or the Seattle Mariners. The AL West rivals, according to a source close to the Red Sox left fielder, top the list of teams he wants to be traded to. Still, it is no secret around baseball that Ramirez has been known to change his mind and that his current desire to be traded could cool altogether.

The article speculates that Manny’s familiarity with Mike Hargrove is a factor in this seemingly out-of-nowhere impulse.

This strikes me as very far-fetched, though in theory I would love to see his bat in the lineup. Since I try to refrain from cooking up speculative trades, let’s leave it at that. The part that interests me from the article is this:

A Mariners source said last night that the club has not been focused on Ramirez but trying to obtain a left-handed slugger to complement righties Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson.

Yes, Safeco favors left-handed hitters, and yes, the Mariners have a right-handed heavy lineup. But this is one of the top sluggers in baseball. There are some good reasons for not pursuing him, but the side of the plate he hits home runs from isn’t one.

I’m reminded of the time when the Portland Trail Blazers were faced with the fateful decision of whether to draft Sam Bowie or Michael Jordan. GM Stu Inman was dicussing it with his friend Bob Knight, who was a Jordan booster. “But,” said Inman, “we need a center.” Knight shot back, “So play Jordan at center!”

So get Manny, and have him bat left-handed.

No, not really. But left-handed Manny would still probably pack more punch than most of the bench.


139 Responses to “Manny Ramirez wants to come to Seattle?”

  1. DMZ on November 23rd, 2005 4:04 pm

    That’s not the point. You said ” ZERO track record cutting slack to the superior athlete who occasionally makes minimum effort.”

    Griffey, even by his own admission, didn’t chase after fly balls in blowouts, didn’t run out ground balls if he thought it didn’t matter, and so on. Now, I can argue that that’s actually a wise strategy for him, but the point is: Griffey occasionally didn’t work during games here, intentionally, and Seattle loved him anyway.

  2. BoneFan on November 23rd, 2005 4:24 pm

    Exactly my point, Manny doesn’t chase balls in CLOSE games. That’s the difference. “Manny being Manny” and “Junior being Junior” are two totally different propositions.

    You think having Manny on the field and having Junior on the field are remotely comparable. They are JUST NOT. I also don’t know how much Seattle “LOVED”? To the extent they did, how much of the guy they loved was the marketing construct of Nike et al? How much did they love the guy behind the commercials, who showed his true colors in a La-Z-Boy in Cincy.

    Manny is much more like Freddy … a talented, semi-communicative, lethargic, self-absorbed Latino party boy. That’s really the only guy who even comes close. He will be TORTURE for the average M’s fan — and the F.O. to watch. The Red Sox would have to PAY Howard to watch Manny in a M’s uniform. You would have to starp Howard down and pry his eyes open a la Clockwork Orange. Actually, that sounds pretty good.

  3. newbie on November 23rd, 2005 4:57 pm

    Manny is scary, but try this on for size:

    Beltre for Abreu, then pick up Burroughs from San Diego.
    The Phillies are having trouble justifying Abreu’s hefty price tag, and the Padres have more depth at 3rd than they know what to do with.
    Burroughs is cheap and if healthy, could potentially be a sleeper from the left side of the plate while delivering potentially Gold Glove defense at the hot corner. It’s a gamble, but in the end we save money over Beltre + Jones or some other mediocre option in left for more pitching

  4. newbie on November 23rd, 2005 5:04 pm

    Could be fantasy…actually definitely, because Abreu isn’t gonna be available, but we can dream right?

  5. LB on November 23rd, 2005 5:31 pm

    #103: Manny is much more like Freddy … a talented, semi-communicative, lethargic, self-absorbed Latino party boy.

    I have trouble reconciling that statement with the facts that 1) Manny doesn’t drink, 2) is married with two kids, 3) gets up at 5:30am every day to train in the offseason, and 4) spends hours looking at video before every game.

    “Semi-communicative” and “Latino” I’ll give you. Big deal.

  6. Matto on November 23rd, 2005 5:59 pm

    Beltre traded? Hardly bloody likely, even if it’s for someone like Bobby . It’s an insane assumption to make that the FO would trade him so quickly.

  7. Gomez on November 23rd, 2005 6:16 pm

    So what happens if Manny pulls a Cirillo, age suddenly catches up with him and he becomes the next Mike Lowell?

  8. Smegmalicious on November 23rd, 2005 6:17 pm

    Not to mention Beltre is comming off a huge bomb of a season and his value is at a low.

  9. Gomez on November 23rd, 2005 8:59 pm

    #103: Manny is much more like Freddy … a talented, semi-communicative, lethargic, self-absorbed Latino party boy.

    #106: I have trouble reconciling that statement with the facts that 1) Manny doesn’t drink, 2) is married with two kids, 3) gets up at 5:30am every day to train in the offseason, and 4) spends hours looking at video before every game.

    “Semi-communicative” and “Latino” I’ll give you. Big deal.

    Exactly, LB. His main problems are that he’s a bit of a hot-head, not much defensively in left, he had this thing for taking games off in September during a pennant race, and every year he begs to be traded. Oh, and he’s saddled with a massive contract. Otherwise, he is a big time masher.

    Oh, and didn’t Junior run into a few walls to make catches back in the day (and break his wrist on one)? This talk of Junior being notoriously lax is a bit of a surprise to me.

  10. Shoeless Jose on November 23rd, 2005 9:03 pm

    I just don’t see the M’s picking up this contract in any form. It seems far more likely to me that Manny’s agent floated the “…and the Mariners” bit (knowing the Boston media will jump into and expand on anything) to create a “market” for his client, thus putting some pressure on both Boston to do something and the Angels to do something quickly.

    There are lots of players I’d rather see the M’s spend that kind of money on, and not all of them are pitchers.

  11. DMZ on November 23rd, 2005 9:25 pm

    Oh, and didn’t Junior run into a few walls to make catches back in the day (and break his wrist on one)? This talk of Junior being notoriously lax is a bit of a surprise to me.

    No one said he was notoriously lax.

    The point was that Junior didn’t play at full effort when he thought the game wouldn’t be affected by the outcome.

  12. LB on November 23rd, 2005 10:27 pm

    #110: hot-head …

    I cannot fathom where you get this. I’ve always heard the guy’s very laid back for a professional athlete.

    … not much defensively in left …

    17 outfield assists in 2005. Led all of MLB.

    … he had this thing for taking games off in September during a pennant race

    “This thing” you mentioned happened in 2003, one time. I just went and looked at the Retrosheet box scores for 2003 and 2004, and yes, Manny missed the notorious “too sick to PH” game against the Phillies on 9/1/03 and was benched in the next game against the White Sox on 9/2. He then played in every game until 9/28 against TB, by which time the Red Sox had clinched. He played in every game in September 2004.

    2005 box scores are not yet up on Retrosheet, but in post #13 I made the point that Manny played in 152 games for the Red Sox in 2005, which was good for third on the team behind Edgar Renteria’s 153 and David Ortiz’ 159.

    The guy’s no slacker.

  13. Mat on November 23rd, 2005 10:45 pm

    “17 outfield assists in 2005. Led all of MLB.”

    I’d say this is a fairly misleading stat. By playing LF in Fenway, Manny gets the advantage of making shorter throws (on average) than most any outfielder in baseball. Also, a lot of this might have to do with his reputation not matching his skills. That is, he’s not great, but he’s not bad as he’s assumed to be. As such, most everyone tests his arm, and he likely gets a lot more opportunities for assists, than say Ichiro, whose arm garners more respect around the league. Even with the assists, Manny’s a below average outfielder, and outside Fenway his value as a defender decreases.

  14. Joey on November 23rd, 2005 11:01 pm

    #114: Same thing I was thinking

  15. LB on November 23rd, 2005 11:10 pm

    #114: That is, he’s not great, but he’s not bad as he’s assumed to be.

    No doubt. But I never said the guy deserved a Gold Glove. I just have trouble with “not much defensively” when the guy led MLB in at least one defensive stat.

    For instance, Ichiro had 10 assists last year. In Manny’s case, baserunners 11-17 should have gotten the memo about Manny’s arm and the dimensions of Fenway, but they had to find out for themselves. Give the guy credit for getting to the ball and making the throws.

    Even with the assists, Manny’s a below average outfielder

    Of course. He plays LF with his bat.

    and outside Fenway his value as a defender decreases.

    I think it’s more accurate to say that at Fenway, his value as a defender is maximized in LF. Yankee Stadium has a small RF. Manny and his arm would do okay there. (Shudder.) He did okay playing RF in Jacobs Field. Manny’s a LF in Boston because RF there is the size of Rhode Island.

  16. MannyFan on November 24th, 2005 1:32 am

    I scanned thru the comments and the thing that screams out at me is Seattle’s “second city” mentality. The consensus of reaction is

    1) The Mariners will not/should not go after Manny.

    The Mariners were last or 2nd to last in the AL in virtually EVERY significant offensive category last season. We need produciton…We have a major hole at DH/LF where Manny would play. All questions comments about Manny’s obvious defesive deficiencies are moot…We do not have David Ortiz on this team and last I heard Edgar will not be coming back. Manny can DH for the Mariners period. He will mash the ball in any ballpark because the man was born to hit. A lineup with Manny batting 3rd instead of Ibanez is such a dramatic improvement that it is ridiculous.

    Now all the notes about “character”???? What is the deal do you think RedSox fans are upset they won the world series with a few guys who were jerks? It is the Seattle mentality that needs to be broken in what we expect from our pro sport frachises. Someone commented to me the other day when taking Seahawks and the possiblity of T.O. being a free agent “I wouldn’t trade Engram for Owens, Bobby is a way better guy in the lockerroom” My responce to this guy was “you are an idiot”

    This is the medicority that is accepted that forced me to watch Dan “the worst hitter in the history of post-season baseball” Wilson be glorified for years, but see Freddy “ERA leader” Garcia run out of town.

    If you want to win get the best players availabe. Some of them may say something mean to Steve Kelley or Ron Fairley once in awhile–(I would like to give them a piece of my mind too) tough. Guess what 99% of us will NEVER meet these guys on the street anyway. Lets make baseball decisions based on baseball performance. Not Q-ratings among the mariner housewives.

    Manny is AWESOME—he fits needs on our club lets DEMAND that the m’s FO go after him so we dont have to lose to a real francise like the Angels with Vlad and Manny batting back to back.

  17. jeff on November 24th, 2005 2:53 am

    I say we do it, lets get manny.

    I can understand some people’s reasons for not wanting manny, but saying he is on the decline i will not accept.

    here’s manny’s last 3 years

    2003: 37 HR’s and 1O4 RBI’S
    2004: 43 HR’s and 130 RBI’S
    2005: 45 HR’s and 144 RBI’S

    He is definatly not declining his hr’s and rbi’s have gone up every year for the past 3 seasons. 45 hr’s and 144 rbis is basically insane numbers.

    let me tell you someone whose production has gone down. Brian Giles who is a couple years older then manny.

    2003: 23hr’s and 94 rbi’s
    2004: 15hr’s and 83 rbi’s

    Giles cares me way to old for a 3 year contract. Burnett scares me even more we gambled on beltre last year, let’s not gamble again. what if burnett was a bust like beltre (so far) the m’s would be hurting nig time for a while. At least we know what Manny will give, he’s be a lock for 35hr’s and 100 rbi’s in safe co. while improving the production of everyone around him in the line-up.!

  18. mark from Oly. on November 24th, 2005 7:04 am

    So… Manny to LA? Well then, that sucks.

  19. eponymous coward on November 24th, 2005 10:53 am

    Having Manny start tanking during the last few years of his deal is a non-trivial risk, guys. Branch Rickey (“Better to trade a player a year early than a year late”) wasn’t kidding.

    Like I said, you can justify it…but only if you’re willing to blow up the current salary structure the M’s have, because:

    – the M’s aren’t winning anything with their current rotation, even with Manny, and
    – the M’s need to have a contingency plan if Manny turns into Frank Thomas before or by 2008. That contingency plan will cost money.

  20. Lineup? on November 24th, 2005 11:08 am

    Suzuki L
    Johjima R
    Ramirez R
    Sexson L
    Beltre R
    Ibanez L
    Lopez R
    Reed L
    Betancourt R

  21. RickL on November 24th, 2005 11:09 am

    Your analogy to the Trail Blazers not drafting the greatest basketball player ever reminded me of the worst trade in Seattle sports history: drafting Scottie Pippen and then immediately trading him for Olden Polynice.

  22. Smegmalicious on November 24th, 2005 11:45 am

    Lineup, don’t tease me like that!

    It should be said that I, for one, and most of us here want to get Manny. We’re not being defeatist, we’re being realistic. The Marier’s proably won’t go after him and even if we did, what would we offer in trade? (Meche, Pinero, Reed and Ibanez maybe? With a releiver thrown in?) We’re just steeling ourselves for the inevitable dissapointment.

  23. Smegmalicious on November 24th, 2005 11:49 am

    By the way, both the PI and the Times are running articles today about how unlikely it is that Manny will come here. The Times specifically is saying we’re not even talking to the Red Sox and pretty much won’t.

  24. Mat on November 24th, 2005 11:58 am

    #121–the Manny lineup.

    Of course, this assumes that the Mariners, you know, don’t actually have to *trade* anyone to get Manny. Unless, of course, you’re giving up Felix to get Manny, in which case I’m guessing the Red Sox would be very, very interested.

  25. LB on November 24th, 2005 12:06 pm

    #121: In your proposed lineup, I don’t see anyone missing from the 2005 lineup. Do you think the Red Sox will send Manny to Seattle without getting a very good hitter (i.e. Sexson) in return?

  26. Gomez on November 24th, 2005 4:07 pm

    The assumption I’m seeing from many of you is that we won’t have to give up any of OUR stars to get Manny, which we will have to do. Boston is not going to send him here for Meche and Thornton. We would have to give up Ibanez or someone similar, and probably more on top of that, to get him.

  27. MannyFan on November 24th, 2005 4:56 pm

    Lets deal, Meche, Reed, Ibanez and minor leaguer to be named later for Manny.

    Manny’s HR and RBI production will triple that of Reed/Ibanez combined and we all know Meche is not in the ’06 rotation anyway

  28. LB on November 24th, 2005 7:36 pm

    #128: and we all know Meche is not in the ‘06 rotation anyway

    So do the Red Sox.

  29. msb on November 24th, 2005 8:04 pm

    #124– just to be accurate, the one team official whop talks to Finny told him “While team officials do not comment publicly on personnel matters, one expressed a complete lack of knowledge of Ramirez’s interest in Seattle. “No one has had any talks with the Red Sox about Manny,” the official said. “Actually, we have no idea what was in any paper back in Boston.”

    Hickey points out that paying Manny $57 million over the next three seasons would make it hard to get pitching.

  30. Shoeless Jose on November 25th, 2005 2:04 am

    Manny’s a LF in Boston because RF there is the size of Rhode Island.

    I’ve seen this a couple of times in this thread, and I’m confused. Just from looking at a map, Rhode Island is tiny. It’s about half the size of King County. You could drop it into Puget Sound without anybody noticing. Heck, I think you could drop it into Lake Washington. So when you equate RF at Fenway with RI, are you saying it’s large or it’s small? Because if you want to say it’s large, I’d suggest comapring it to Alaska, or at least Texas. Or is this some Boston traditional slang of some sort? I mean, even on the east coast where the states are so small you can’t swing a cat without having to get new tags for your car, RI isn’t all that big.

  31. jojo on November 25th, 2005 6:21 am

    #117: Can Manny also give the M’s 500 innings in the rotation?

  32. T-mac on November 25th, 2005 9:54 am

    If the reports are indeed true that the Mariners have had no contact with Boston about Manny then they are guilty of deriliction of duty. They should be drooling at this oppurtunity. I would trade Ichiro for Manny straight-up….if not how ’bout

    Possible pieces to throw in the deal:
    Betancourt (the guy will never hit and we have 3 future shortstops)
    Clement (since he will never catch here now that we have a suitable japanese starter)
    Reed/Lopez (see comment on Betancourt)

  33. LB on November 25th, 2005 1:15 pm

    #131: Big. Considering the dimensions as well as the angles of the outfield fences (think “inside the park HR” if a ground ball down the line gets past the fielder), RF in Fenway probably plays the toughest in the American League.

    Nothing in New England is the size of Texas, not even Maine. And you’d see how big RI was if you ever tried to run across it before a fly ball dropped on the other side.

  34. Gomez on November 25th, 2005 2:41 pm

    Jojo makes a good point, that bringing in Manny will effectively eliminate the payroll needed to bring in starting pitching, especially Burnett or Millwood. Is the 50 or so runs Manny adds worth giving Ryan Franklin, Jeff Harris and one of our other AAA scrubs 30 starts apiece? Oh yeah, and you probably won’t have Ibanez.

    And while this shouldn’t even merit a comment, I love T-Mac’s instant dismissal of Betancourt (despite possessing so much range and playmaking ability in the field at SS that he makes Ozzie Smith look like Mike Morse, and his batting totals are a product of less than half a season), Reed (who also plays a good CF and hit 34 doubles, may have been playing with a hurt wrist before the official announcement of the wrist injury in August, and started to figure out how to better steal bases towards the end of the year, answering one of the big gripes against him), Lopez (who is only 21 and didn’t hit 300/350/500 even though his career consists of broken-up parts of the last two seasons; oh yeah, total bust), and Clement (even though by the time Johjima’s contract expires, he and Clement will likely be splitting time at catcher, and Clement could be ready to take Johjima’s spot). Never mind that giving up any of those guys basically costs us about 10 or 20 runs, as Bloomquist would likely replace whoever goes, because we wouldn’t have the payroll to sign anyone else worth a damn.

    Don’t even get me started on the Ichiro remark: so we lose defense in RF, lose our leadoff guy and about 20 more runs. And then who the hell is going to lead off? Willie Bloomquist?

    I think the intense desire of the blogosphere to bring in Manny is leading to some rather delusional commentary. We don’t even know if Manny’s being honest about coming to Seattle, if these remarks about Seattle are just posturing to get Anaheim to up the ante on a possible trade deal.

  35. Smegmalicious on November 25th, 2005 3:44 pm

    Dude, Gomez, we know. Let us hope.

  36. Terry on November 25th, 2005 10:06 pm

    Out of all of the youngsters on the roster, im least enamored with Lopez….he’s had two decent shots to show his stuff in the majors and both times he has looked turdish. Id use him for trade bait if there was a way to upgrade 2b via free agency.

  37. ebbnflow on November 25th, 2005 11:14 pm

    Terry – After he was called up “for good” at the tail end of August, Lopez put up a more than adequate .261/.311/.432 line in 111 ABs. He’s 21, doesn’t strike out very often, hits doubles like they’re going out of style (13 in those 111 ABs!), and he’s cheap as all get out. What’s not to like?

    Frankly, of the trio of he, Reed, and Betancourt, there’s no doubt in my mind that he has the highest offensive ceiling of the three. His lines look bad to this point, but his age, physical tools, and minor league track record make it worthwhile for us to wait him out.

    And plus there are no FAs that make even an iota of sense. Grudzielanek? Bellhorn? Graffanino? No thank you. In fact, the odds of Lopez outperforming those three 2B “jewels” of the 2005 class is pretty darn high, imho.

  38. eponymous coward on November 25th, 2005 11:47 pm

    two decent shots to show his stuff in the majors

    He’s had less than 400 ABs. The last 100 of which, as was pointed out, were pretty decent.

    Oh, and he’s 22 this year. Giving up on him now is nuts.

  39. J.R. Caines on November 28th, 2005 10:19 am

    Compared to the average MLB right field Rhode Island is quite large.