Mets May Have to Bid for Manny

When he was available as a free rental, the Mets passed on Manny Ramirez at the trade deadline. If they can avoid it, they will not get into the bidding war for Manny. However, there is one situation where the Mets absolutely, positively, MUST not only make a bid for Manny, but be sure that they sign him. No matter what the cost.

That situation would be if (when?) the Philadelphia Phillies get into bidding.

The scary thing is, it’s not a far-fetched possibility that the Phils will make a play for Manny. They have a hole in left field and $14M off the books by letting Pat Burrell walk. There were rumors that they were in trade talks with the Rockies to obtain Matt Holliday, so their aim is high. And then there is the fact that manager Charlie Manuel would absolutely love to reunite with Ramirez.

Think about it: no matter what team Manny winds up with, that team almost certainly improves themselves, possibly by ten or fifteen wins. He’s that valuable — just ask Joe Torre. (Actually, I’m sure a sabermetrician can give us the exact numbers.) The Phillies already have one of the top offenses in the NL — they finished tied the Mets for second in the league in runs per game with 4.93 — but now imagine that Philadelphia offense with Manny Ramirez standing in the middle.

Oh boy.

Suddenly, the Phillies have not the best offense in the NL, but perhaps in all of MLB. Some might argue that their top four would be the strongest in history:

1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Chase Utley
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Ryan Howard
— fill in the rest —

Also, the fact they can split up Utley and Howard by sandwiching Ramirez, rather than the streaky, .250-hitting Burrell, means a LOOGY is less valuable. Jerry Manuel might fill his bullpen with eight lefties as a best defense.

Considering the impact that Manny Ramirez would have on the Phillies’ offense, it would behoove the Mets to do whatever possible to keep him out of Philadelphia — even if it means signing him themselves (which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world). Not unlike the Yankees signing players to keep them from the Red Sox, and vice-versa, if the Mets want to keep it a fair fight in the NL East in 2009, they might have to sign Manny Ramirez.

Hopefully, Manny will stay on the West Coast, or move back to the American League, so this scenario becomes moot. But it will be interesting to see Omar Minaya’s reaction should the Phillies become serious bidders in the Manny Ramirez sweepstakes.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude November 12, 2008 at 1:03 pm
    Interesting point, Joe. And I’d have to agree: if Omar catches wind that the Phillies are courting Manny, he must pony up the dough, no matter how much it’s going to take. But then what stops Philly from simply coming out with a fabricated statement saying they’re interested in Manny and are thinking about submitting an offer, just to get the Mets to take the bait and outbid themselves, thus leaving the Mets with less money to use on fixing their pitching woes. I don’t think Philly believes they can outbid the Mets, and they have to know that making a public bid for Manny would get the Mets involved. And regardless of how bad they might want Manny, or how much money the Mets would have to spend on him, the Phils don’t want Manny on the Mets. So I’m thinking the Phils will never get involved with Manny – at least not to the point where they’re considered a serious suitor. They might still make a trade to find a LF – Jermaine Dye, Ichiro, Ryan Ludwick, Jose Guillen are all available depending on who you trust. Or they could sign Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, Raul Ibanez, Milton Bradley, or Garret Anderson – all free agents who would strengthen the Philly lineup. Or they could just turn over LF to Jayson Werth and let Geoff Jenkins handle RF. Or they could give prospect Greg Golson the job. I’m just saying, they have many more options than pursuing Manny and awakening the Mets sleeping bank account. If I were Ruben Amaro, I;d let sleeping dogs lie.
  2. joe November 12, 2008 at 1:34 pm
    It’s true that it’s a longshot, but there’s enough to suggest at this early stage that the Phillies could throw their hat in the ring. Winning the World Series gives Charlie Manuel some more power and influence, and he would take Manny in a heartbeat. And it’s interesting you bring up Amaro — wouldn’t it be quite a splash to begin his career to sign Ramirez? Compare it to when Omar took over and brought in Pedro and Beltran.

    To me the main thing is that the Phillies have some money with Burrell leaving, and more money after winning the WS. If they’re not going to spend it on a pitcher, then they may just be crazy enough to bring in Manny.

    I get the feeling that the Phillies aren’t worried about the Mets making a pitch for Manny, based on their lack of interest at the deadline. Whereas, there was at least one rumor that the Phillies spoke with the Red Sox (with Burrell as the bait).

    It sure would heat up the hot stove if Philly made a bid, eh?

    BTW I doubt highly the Phils would bring back Abreu, and would be really surprised if they brought in a LH bat such as Ibanez, Anderson, or Dunn. Their serious pursuit of Holliday makes me concerned about their offseason goals.

  3. murph November 13, 2008 at 1:26 am
    Boras’ game plan is usually to pit two teams against each other to jack up the bidding.
    So he could play the Mets-Phillies off each other.
    But I think now that Manny has gone Hollywood, he won’t want to come back east, and Boras will try to
    set up a bidding war between the Dodgers and Angels in L.A.
  4. joe November 13, 2008 at 1:34 am
    Dear lord, Murph, let’s hope. There is plenty of reason to believe the Manny showdown will take place on the Left Coast. My fingers are crossed.
  5. sincekindergarten November 13, 2008 at 9:07 pm
    Joe, it would not surprise me to see the Angels come out on top in this. They do have some interest; plus, if they do lose Teixeira like a bunch of baseball people expect them to, they’re gonna have a hole in their lineup that can be best filled with manny. They’re just smart enough to realize this.
  6. joe November 13, 2008 at 10:23 pm
    SK, I’d LOOOOOOOVE to see the Angels sign Manny. Just keep that guy out of the NL. Like you say, it all depends on Teixeira, who the Halos supposedly still have interest in.

    What will be fun to watch is the bidding war between the Yanks and Angels for CC …. and if either/both will also go after Manny and/or Teixeira.