Solochek: When will Manny sign?

first_imgHow desperate are the Los Angles Dodgers to sell season tickets for the 2009 season?So desperate, they are willing to give “insider information” to those not renewing their season tickets this year that free agent Manny Ramirez is expected to resign with the Dodgers soon and they should reorder their season tickets.With opening day just around the corner, one of the biggest impact players from the 2009 season is still without a clubhouse this summer. Sure, there have been talks that Ramirez and his super agent, Scott Boras, are nearing a deal for the 36-year old left fielder, but there has been much negotiation over the two-year, $45 million deal he was offered by the Dodgers in November.For the Dodgers, resigning Manny is almost imperative if they are going to make a run at the playoffs or get as far as the National League Championship Series, as they did last fall before losing to the eventual World Series Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies. Last year, after being traded from the Red Sox, Ramirez hit .396, had 17 home runs, 53 RBIs and 35 walks in just 53 games.If the Dodgers do not sign Ramirez, they are out of viable choices to replace him in left field, especially if they are looking for a big bat. Former Cincinnati Red Adam Dunn has been signed by the Washington Nationals and Bobby Abreu signed with the Dodgers’ cross-town rival, the Angels. With many big bats off the market, the Dodgers are going to be forced to sign Ramirez.But what will it cost them, or any other team who makes the push to sign the free-spirited left fielder?Obviously, Boras has totally overestimated what his client’s worth is to not only the Dodgers, but every other team in Major League Baseball. He must have seen the enormous contracts given to CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira by the New York Yankees and thought Ramirez was worth the same. However, with the economic situation affecting most ball clubs across the country, paired with the obvious risk of locker room problems “Manny being Manny” may bring, many teams thought the risk was greater than the reward.However, although there might be some negatives to bringing in a player like Ramirez to another team, the rewards probably outweigh the risk. One just has to look at the spark he gave to the Dodgers before arriving on the scene two-thirds of the way through the season. On his shoulders, he was able to drag the Dodgers from the middle of the National League West to the playoffs, and eventually to a series win over the Chicago Cubs for a chance to play in the NLCS.So far, the only team to even enter the conversation to sign Ramirez next year is the San Francisco Giants. Last year, the Giants finished fourth in the NL West with a record of 72-90, 12 games out of first place. They finished with a .262 team batting average, which ranked second to last in the National League, just beating out San Diego.But, especially following the media circus that followed Barry Bonds around during his chase of the home run record and the steroid scandal, there is no way the Giants would want to go through with that again. The Giants, who are looking to build a solid leadership base off of Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum, don’t need Ramirez’s antics to mess things up in the clubhouse.With Ramirez still on the market, there has not been very much talk of who is going to sign him, but when he is going to sign. Surely, he will eventually accept the one or two year deal the Dodgers have offered him and see if he can keep up the strong numbers. If not, when he becomes a free agent in a couple seasons, I am sure the Yankees will have enough money to pay Ramirez every cent he thinks he is worth.Ben Solochek is a senior majoring in journalism and history. Think you know where Manny is going to sign? E-mail him at bsolochek@badgerherald.com.last_img

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