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?

11-12 Offseason

About the Author

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.

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