Should Mets Sign Manny Ramirez?

C’mon, you knew this post was coming … an offseason of blogging simply isn’t complete until there is a “Manny to the Mets” rumor — right?

For those who haven’t heard, Manny Ramirez has expressed a desire to return to MLB — to be a “role model” (his words):

Ramirez told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez in an interview. “And to show people that I still can play. I don’t want to leave the game like I did. I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don’t quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you’re going to leave, leave the right way.”

Ramirez, who’s currently working out in Florida, taking swings in a batting cage and getting in shape by working out in a pool, believes he can be a role model if a team gives him a chance.

“A bunch of guys are going to look at me and say hey, this guy made a mistake but he didn’t quit. Look how he finished. He did the right thing and came back,” Ramirez told Gomez.

I refuse to comment on Manny’s motivations. Further, I refuse to offer my opinion on his PEDs issues. Instead, let’s focus on these facts:

- MLB has reduced Manny’s sentence from 100 to 50 games

- Manny likely will have to accept a minimum-salary deal

- If he hits, Manny would be a trading chip in July

- If nothing else, Manny will provide daily news

I don’t expect Manny Ramirez to hit the way he did in his prime, but I do believe he can still get the bat on the ball and get on base at an above-average rate. Not so sure about his power, especially without the aid of PEDs, and his defense would be below average — though, possibly better than what we’ll see from Lucas Duda.

But Manny will be affordable and there’s an outside chance he’ll show just enough to become trade bait — and that in itself is worth taking a flyer. Perhaps more importantly, having Manny around — whether it’s “Manny being Manny” or following the story of “Manny the role model” — would be a welcome side show to what is shaping up to be a miserable Mets season. With the focus on Manny, maybe there would be less pressure from the press on the Mets youngsters as they slog through a difficult season. Maybe with Manny around, there will be fewer trade questions posed to David Wright in the locker room. Maybe the buzz around Manny will lessen the focus on the Mets’ financial problems. Who knows, maybe Manny’s legendary work ethic — you did know that despite all his faults, he’s always been one of the hardest-working players in baseball, didn’t you? — will have a profound and positive effect on the impressionable young Mets. At the very least, the Mets should be able to sell a decent quantity of Ramirez jerseys (even if they’re depicting the uniform number of Ramon Ramirez).

Or, maybe I’m out of my mind for considering any of this.

What say you? Should the Mets consider signing Manny Ramirez? Why or why not?

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. GMF1981 January 17, 2012 at 6:01 am
    Sure!

    They should also give Scott Kazmir an invite to Spring Training just to create some kind of positive or at least curious news and bring people to the Stadium.

    • MikeT January 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm
      I read this via Metsblog. I made me want to gag. Talk about someone who doesn’t know anything about the Mets just using broad talking points to make his arguments. Without getting into specifics, or nit-picking, the main thing I hated was the idea that super stars like Reyes win championships… uh, 2006 is calling, and its reminding you that the lack of “Duda’s, Turner’s, and Murphy’s of the world” (sic) that prevented the Mets from winning then and in the next two years. They had no depth! The Cardinals did fine with just their two stars (Pujols, Carpenter) and Pujols wasn’t even that good as I recall. Point is that stars are valuable and necessary, but they do not alone win championships. Such ignorance.
      • Mike B January 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm
        I must be misreading this, Are you saying that the Mets didnt win in 06 because of a couple never will be farm hands??????????? You got to be kidding me, that was a good team that lost a good series that went to the last pitch. The problem has been what has happen since then…. Nothing, nothing has happer, whenever a move could have been made to plug a flaw it wasnt made and it got worse every year and now you have the 2012 New york MEts with your Dudas murphys ect ect good luck.
        • MikeT January 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm
          Completely missed my point. Do you think another star would have been the difference for any of those teams (06, 07, 08)? The under appreciated, cheap, and solid contributors that make up a roster wins championships. Ryan Freese helped the Cardinals win more so than Pujols this past year. He got the bigger hits in the World Series. Yeah they don’t reach that point without Pujols, but the depth of that team is what got them the ring, not the star. The Mets were sending up Nick Evans in 2007 when the season was on the line. That is my point. Yeah, you need stars, and you can’t have a team of scrubs, but you need guys like Adres Torres and Aubrey Huff to come up huge when you are down to your last pitch, much like Freese did. Anyone think he is a star?

          I just hate the idea that the Mets need stars to win, because for three years they had stars and didn’t, and it was obvious the lack of depth is what killed them. I don’t think Duda and Murphy = rings, but anyone in baseball can tell you that without a complete roster your stars will only get you so far.

        • MikeT January 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm
          Instead of continuing this argument I’ll let someone else make it more eloquently than I can:

          http://www.amazinavenue.com/2012/1/17/2712769/why-national-baseball-writers-should-avoid-writing-team-specific#storyjump

        • Jake January 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm
          In response to mike T, you need the stars to add depth. The Mets problem in 2006 was not because the stars could not win games, it was the injuries. Pedro Martinez got hurt with a 6-0 record well on his way to a cy young award. El Duque, their game one starter for the dodgers series got hurt in a practice before game 1. the mets don’t lack the murphy’s and the duda’s because they have them, just not where they should be. Murphy and Duda are great hitters, and I’m sure that in the right situation Murphy could contend for a batting title. but its the little things that should be simple that make these players look so bad. Murphy doesn’t know how to field a baseball or run the bases. Duda is young, inexperienced and just cannot be thrown into a starting situation right out of buffalo. It doesn’t take long to figure out a big swinging left handed hitter from a pitcher’s perspective. The reason the mets don’t have a guy like Freese is because Freese is a stud. Pujols has the effect on players that makes them seem not as great as they really are. But don’t say Pujols didn’t have big hits. He single handedly won a world series game with 3 home runs. now is manny ramirez the answer? probably not. is he a low risk high reward type of player with a minimum salary? yes. Is he the hardest working player in major league baseball? go down to washington heights and ask them about Manny’s workout routine. Then see if you have what it takes to complete even half of it. worst comes to worst with manny you have a dangerous bat off the bench that cost much less than Ronny cedeno.. oh and if you are wondering why i didn’t bring up turner its because he doesn’t deserve discussion. He makes me upset with the standards of the mets. A lot of this is out of frustration that nobody in the organization makes the effort to make me believe that this team is heading in the right direction. When you have a team full of role players that all play the same role how are you supposed to be good? and how are you supposed to rebuild with a farm system that doesn’t even have as much depth as the major league team? Oh and Dmitri Young will never be close to the type of player Manny would be as a 50 year old..
        • Mike B January 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm
          I think I got your point Mike T, Maybe you dont get mine. I am not interested in putting all my eggs in the basket that is being carried by andres torres and aubrey huff.

          Yes it is true that every team that wins a championship has role players that show up the problem is you dont know who its gonna be until the champion is decided.

          The Playoffs is a crapshoot the best team doesnt always win, the team that deserves to win doesnt always win.

          The regular Season is what it is all about, You need a team that performs better over 162 games, when you shrink that down to 5 or 7 game series anything can happen.

          I am not asking for an allstar team but you need a couple stars on both sides to be a contender 2 sp’s 1 rp maybe 2 position players and then you can fill your team with grizzlied veterans and young unproven talent.

        • Joe Janish January 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm
          First off, I think maybe you are confusing Ryan Freel with David Freese (?). Because David Freese — the Cards’ 2011 postseason hero — is without question a star on the rise and not a mere “role player”. The guy can flat out hit, always could, but hadn’t been healthy enough to prove it. He’s no Nick Evans.

          Second, though I didn’t care much for Passan’s article and agree with you on his inability to understand the Mets as intimately as we do, I do believe that the ’06 Mets needed one more “big” bat and/or arm to guarantee a World Series appearance. I would argue that the Mets had several role players who turned it up a notch in the ’06 postseason (mostly pitchers) — John Maine, Oliver Perez, Chad Bradford, Guillermo Mota, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano Shawn Green, and Michael Tucker (add in Endy with his catch if you want as well) all performed above their heads (save for two bad pitches, one each by Mota and Heilman). Those Mets teams from ’06-’08 needed one more true slugger to put them over the top, but they didn’t go the extra mile to get one — instead hoping for Green to find the Fountain of Youth or Lastings Milledge to turn into Gary Sheffield.

  2. mic January 17, 2012 at 7:10 am
    But Kazmir could beat out Chris Schwinden…even Dillon Gee..
  3. Paul January 17, 2012 at 8:27 am
    While we’re at it, let’s see if Jose Canseco and Barry Bonds want to play ball.

    Manny would generate interest, but it would be of the LOLMets variety. Not very helpful, and I doubt it would translate into more ticket sales.

    Manny would take at-bats away from Lucas Duda, since we know the Mets won’t be bright enough to sit Jason Bay and his ridiculous contract.

    Manny as trade bait? It would be tough. He won’t start playing until the end of May, so there would only be two months for other teams to look at him. Unless he got off to an amazing start, I doubt there would be interest.

    • Joe Janish January 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm
      Hey, I advocated Jose Canseco LAST YEAR … and why the heck not? This team’s owners can use all the distraction it can find.

      As for Manny as trade bait, yeah, it’s a longshot, but he’ll likely play for the MLB minimum — is there anyone else available who will be that cheap and have that much potential upside? The Mets have no choice but to go with longshots. It’s not like Scott Hairston is going to command anything other than maybe a scrub A-baller, even if he has a career year.

  4. Stan January 17, 2012 at 9:19 am
    You should save this story for April 1st.
  5. Mike B January 17, 2012 at 9:26 am
    Well when you dont generate interest by playing winning baseball all thats left is the LOL variety. Having extra players at positions usually works its way out because of injuries. I think the Mets should absolutely sign him, Its a no lose sitution. If he bombs, it was a cheap shot and if he hits you might be able to grab a prospect or 2 for the “future” whenever that is. At least it would be something for us to watch.
  6. kranepool January 17, 2012 at 9:35 am
    uhhhhhh…….. No
  7. 86mets January 17, 2012 at 10:23 am
    Ummmmm……….No. His power was already starting to decline in 2010. After he was traded to the White Sox he slugged .319. THREE NINETEEN! In one of baseball friendliest HR parks. Granted, it was only 88 plate appearances. Plus, he never cared about defense even in his prime. No, thanks.
    • HobieLandrith January 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm
      What does his diminishing power have to do with anything? No one on the Mets has hit with power since they moved into Citi Field. Even without the homeruns, Manny is good for a .290-.300 AVG and .400 OBP — and that’s better than just about anyone the Mets have right now.
  8. Dan B January 17, 2012 at 11:21 am
    Slide Bay to center to make room! It would be worth it to watch the baseball rattle around in that outfield.
  9. derek January 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm
    yes…bring manny into the fold…but something tells me he will have a hard time starting on his old Youth Services travel team…
  10. Glenn January 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm
    if this was a player who didn’t have Manny’s baggage then the Mets lose nothing by bringing in players for the league minimum to see if they could catch lightning in a bottle, so long as they don’t block a younger player ready to play. But Manny would cast the Mets in a very bad light, so it’s not worth it. If this was Dmitri Young making a comeback that’s one thing but Manny? No Way.
    • Joe Janish January 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm
      Um, wait … “Manny would cast the Mets in a very bad light” ???

      What light are the Mets cast in currently????????????

      Perhaps a “very bad light” would be a step up?

      • argonbunnies January 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm
        Yeah. The main thing Manny Being Manny could cost the Mets is respect — from reporters, opponents, and fans, probably in that order. Do we actually have any to lose?
  11. argonbunnies January 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm
    I’m with Joe. Sign Manny. He’ll probably make the team better, he’ll definitely make it more interesting, and if he’s any sort of a problem at all, we can cut him because we’ll be paying him next to nothing for the privilege of not going to Japan.

    I doubt he’ll turn into a trade chip, though. When the Giants got Beltran, they had to at least consider the bonus of an inside track to extending him. With Manny, that won’t be the case. So how many prospects does a pure rental player return these days? Don’t get your hopes up.

    • Joe Janish January 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm
      But what about the financials? Beltran was owed somewhere in the $9M range for a half season (some of which the Mets ate), whereas Manny would be owed maybe $200K — that also is a factor, especially if it’s a team like the Rays.
      • argonbunnies January 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm
        I get the impression that when considering prospect-for-rental player deals, money only factors in as a negative. If the rental player busts a budget, that’s a problem, but if he doesn’t, a few million dollars one way or the other probably isn’t going to be the difference between trading a blue chipper and not trading them.

        That said, I’m speaking generally. We can hope to find some organization who’s out of step with the prospect love currently sweeping the game. I just wouldn’t count on it, that’s all.

  12. Paul Festa January 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm
    I see your point, but I’d rather see us stick with the kids. We don’t need another sideshow.
    • Joe Janish January 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm
      Kids like Scott Hairston and Andres Torres? :-)
  13. Hector sanabria January 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm
    Lets do it. Man nymets sign him NOW. lets go MAN NYMET.
  14. Metstheory22 January 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm
    NO NO NO. Let him disrupt another team.
  15. Bilbo Baggins January 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm
    No.
  16. Peterkourouni January 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm
    I would take a flyer on manny on a minor league deal. I am totally with you on kazmir tho. Sign him and he can be the swing man or at the very least second lefty out of the bullpen
  17. ariel feliz January 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm
    I think the new york mets should sign manny ramIrez because i am a huge mets fan i think with manny bat in the lineup it be great he is a great power hitter so with him in the lineup we can savine in the east mia fl al bavies and the phillies get better so i think the mets should sign manny and sign zack duke its the bast bet beacuse we to be a better team in 2012 2 with a 2 wild card its a cagnce for us to be the team to beat so lets go mets
  18. Josh Z January 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm
    no i just dont see him contributing enough and he is pure locker room poison
  19. Dave January 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm
    This is the worst, most misinformed article written about the Mets in a long time. And why are so many people down on Duda’s defense? The kid’s better than he gets credit for and I think his bat will eventually be what keeps him solidly in the lineup anyway. Manny is done and nothing but a distraction…foolish…
    • Joe Janish January 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm
      Disagree on all counts. First, I write misinformed articles at least twice if not thrice a week. Second, Duda’s defense is horrendous — he is the reincarnation of Babe Herman. The only reason Duda appears to be adequate is because we still have horrific memories of Dan Murphy’s attempts at suicide by routine fly ball.

      Manny may be done but what the heck do the Mets have to lose? At-bats for Jason Bay and Andres Torres?

      • DaveSchneck January 18, 2012 at 9:36 am
        Playing RF, the Dude looks like one of the 4 worst Met outfielders, along with Murph, Hundley, and the ’85 version of Rusty Staub. He is servicable at 1B, and could do minimal damage in LF, but those spots are occupied currently. Regarding Manny, can he play C? A polite no thanks; he belongs in AL if anywhere.
  20. Frank January 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm
    Paying Manny $450k to come off the bench looks alot better than paying this Torres guy $2.7 million to play center. My point being is that we got a lot of service out of Sheffield a few yrs back on minium pay. I’m not saying start Manny but of the bench could be promising for so cheap.
  21. Bernie January 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm
    NONONO….it will be throwing money away….the mets don’t have.