Five weeks ago I told you to expect Manny Ramirez to sign during Spring Training. I’m now amending that. I think there’s a very good chance he will sit out the season.
(Another round of Tecate Lights, I’m going to be here awhile)
Ramirez’s agent, Scott Boras, cost Ramirez $80-120M when he allowed another of his clients, Mark Teixeira, to sign with the Yankees. If Tex had gone elsewhere, and he certainly had good offers from the likes of the Orioles, Nationals and Red Sox, Ramirez almost certainly would’ve landed with the Yankees in a multi-year deal. Especially if Teixeira signed with the Sox.
Instead, Boras gambled that he could get both of his clients mega contracts, and lost. Now Ramirez won’t get more than a two-year offer from any team. My guess is that Giants will step up with a modest two-year proposal in Spring Training. If they do, the Dodgers may try to increase the value of the deal - but not the length. And of course, Ramirez won’t consider either offer.
So that means Ramirez will soon be facing colossal financial embarrassment.
What do you think he’ll do? (I’ve got the answer.)
I say he’ll sit out the season before he’ll sign a one- or two-year arrangement with any team. This is not a man who lives in the world of reality, he’s already got nine figures in the bank. So expect him to tell Boras and the Dodgers (and Giants) to buzz off with their *paltry* offers.
Once we get deep into the season, things may change. Injuries and pennant races could loosen the purse strings of various contenders and perhaps change the market for Manny. (Don’t underestimate the egos of Hank, Arte, etc.)
It really isn’t that bad a gamble for Ramirez, despite his advanced age. If he took the Dodgers’ one-year offer at this point, he’s likely not to match the ungodly numbers he produced last season in the team’s lifesucking ballpark. He’ll also be 37 next season, so his chance for a long contract would be that much more remote.
So with that in mind, why wouldn’t Ramirez sit out for now? He should be prepared for his holdout to last all season, but I have a feeling Ramirez will be back in uniform sometime around August.
Oh yeah, and he might consider changing agents while he’s at it.