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I’m not really sure at all what Manny Ramirez or agent Scott Boras are thinking. The Dodgers offered Manny a chance to be $25 million player for one season, and then re-enter free agency next year when the economy is in better shape. Plausible right?
Why should the Dodgers offer more? No team has publicly been willing to give Manny the four-year, $100 million contract he desires. In fact, only one other team (the Giants) has showed interest in signing Ramirez to a one-year deal. In this economy, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Dodgers to use the $25 million they were going to offer Manny to sign Adam Dunn, Orlando Hudson, and maybe Ben Sheets?
Teams for this offseason have to spend their money efficiently. The Red Sox have done that in acquiring low-cost, high-reward players (John Smoltz, Rocco Baldelli, Takashi Saito, Brad Penny). The Mets stacked their bullpen with two dominant relief pitchers in Francisco Rodriguez and JJ Putz, but made few other moves.
Money just doesn’t grow on trees in baseball like it used to, unless you’re the Yankees. Even the Bronx Bombers have not shown interest in signing Ramirez, despite the fact they could use an upgrade over Melky Cabrera in the OF. Part of the reason for Manny’s current situation was the Yankees’ acquisiton of Mark Teixeira, another Boras client. By signing with the Yankees, Big Tex killed Manny’s value. Had Tex signed with Boston, the Yankees would certainly have added Ramirez and Scott Boras would be an extremely rich and smart man. Now, he just looks plain stupid (even though he’s still quite wealthy).
Boras also terribly misjudged the market for one of his other clients, Jason Varitek. Tek, presumably at his agent’s advice, turned down the Red Sox offer for arbitration (at roughly $11 million). He claimed Tek was worth Jorge Posada-money (4 years, $52.4 million signed 11-29-2007). Now, as we all know, Varitek is back with the Red Sox for a one-year deal at $5 million (and a club option for 2010 for $5 million, or a player option for $3 million). Last time I checked, $11 million is more than $5 million.
Memo to Scott Boras: The United States and World economies are in deep and complicated recessions. Major League Baseball is not another world. Baseball is not recession-proof. Your players are not worth even close to what you think they are. Get a hint!