Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best Fit For Manny

A slow day of baseball headlines has forced me to play the "what if" game (not that the Blue Jays monumental signings of Micheal Barrett and Mike Maroth aren't blog-worthy). I decided to do some thinking about which team would really be the best fit for Manny Ramirez. After looking at all thirty teams and their current situations I have found the team that would be the best fit for Manny.

The Milwaukee Brewers


I know Manny has alienated himself every where he has gone. He managed to carry the Dodgers to the playoffs and was a hero, and even they look like they are moving on as if he won't be there next season. I know he is flaky and plays when he feels like it, and his defense is an embarrassment at times. However, I do think there are many more positives to his signing there than there negatives.

Manny would give the Brewers the best 3-4-5 in baseball. Imagine Manny, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun hitting in a row. It would give them the best middle of the line up in all of baseball. Better than the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Cubs, Tigers, Astro's, Phillies or any other team you can think of. Those are 3 40HR, 120RBI guys who can all hit .280 or better. It would also allow the Brewers to stagger their line up and go righty- lefty- righty.

Milwaukee's current outfield situation features Mike Cameron in center, Ryan Braun in left and Corey Hart in right. Now clearly the Brewers are not going to trade Braun and by bringing on Manny they are going to need all the defensive help they can get, so keeping Cameron also makes sense. The player who they should trade is Hart. He was an All- Star last season, so he value is still high, despite slumping badly in the second half of the '08 season, hitting .239AVG with only 5HRs and 33RBIs. It is known that the Giants have been shopping Jonathan Sanchez and looking for hitting. A Hart for Sanchez deal would make sense for a hitting starved Giants team and a Brewers team that currently features only one lefty and Dave Bush as its #2 starter.

Some would argue that Milwaukee is a small market team and can't just throw money around at players like that. I would argue that Milwaukee just offered C.C. Sabathia a 5 year $100 million contract and were prepared to increase their offer. So, don't give me that 'whoa is me, small market, can't afford him' act. They have the money it is there, it's a matter of thinking if they want to go for it now or stick with the status quo. The way things are going for Manny right now, he might be lucky to get a 3 year, $70 million contract offer. A lot of money for a small market team like Milwaukee, but it would be worth the risk, if it meant bringing home a championship.

Others might say that Hart is about a decade younger than Manny and they would be getting older and losing a player who could be good for another 7-8 years and getting a player who might only have a good season or two left. I would argue that the Brewers only have another season or two with Prince Fielder on the roster. He is going to start arbitration soon and will begin to make a lot more money than he is now. In fact, there have already been Prince trade rumors that have circulated. And it would also allow them to bring in some much needed starting pitching help in a player like Sanchez, who is a young, strikeout lefty. Wouldn't Milwaukee be doing their fans better by bringing on a big ticket, game changing hitter like Manny and going for it all in 2009?

This is just pure speculation on my part. Feel free to post agreements or disagreements.


tGP said...

Well, first of all, the money offered to CC would have represented a very risky contract for the Crew, and they're on record saying that money isn't going to be used for other free agents, as Sabathia was a special case; second of all, the Brewers really need starting pitching depth more than they need another slugger; third of all, Corey Hart is a very valuable player, and although the Brewers may lose Prince Fielder in a few years, it's 1. Better to have more young controlled guys such as Hart to cushion the blow than lose both Fielder and Ramirez simultaneously, and 2. Fielder will be gone, but Mat Gamel will be coming up soon, and hopefully the Crew should hardly miss a beat with that. In fact, if the Crew were to go through with this, and I think it would be a bad idea, they'd probably trade Cameron and shift Hart over to centerfield. They were considering signing Adam Dunn and doing that when the Cameron-Cabrera trade with the Yankees still seemed like a possibility.

Really, the key thing here is that the Brewers, as a small market team, really need to have good players who they have under control for another few years, and Manny, clearly, would be the opposite of that.

Phil said...

Interesting stuff. Didn't really know aboul Gamel, interesting prospect. Please note I did say they should trade Hart for Jonathan Sanchez, a talented, young strikeout lefty. So, that in turn would help solve the pitching problem.

I also like the idea of moving Cameron for talent instead of Hart if this did happen. I figured that they could get more in terms of value for Hart, especially in the young starting pitching department. Aside from Melky what more, in terms of value could the Crew get for Cameron?

Good stuff and thanks for reading. Be sure to check for updates.

Kevin said...

Trade Cameron and a few $ for Ian Kennedy and sign Manny on the back end of that deal.

Not sure if that would work for the Yankees, as they have a log jam in the OF already, but Melky Cabrera would just be taking up space in MILW - his numbers would improve in the NL, but he is still a 70-15-70-.280 guy.

With a 3 year commitment to Manny, there is limited risk for the small market Brewers.

Milwaukee will never be in position to sign top free agents to 5 or 6 year deals and their window of opportunity might be closing with Fielder on his way out. (he is not the player I would tie my franchise to with a mega deal that he would be seeking).

Justin said...

I can think of one very large reason why this deal could never happen.

Doug Melvin (Brewers GM) has made it very clear that he is taking a stand that baseball should have a salary cap. If the brewers were to give Manny Ramirez one of the most lucrative deals ever (based on avg salary per year) he would lose the ability to complain about the big boys and how we like to spend our money in NY.

Manny would make Prince Fielder another David Ortiz but it would never happen.