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.
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.