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Mets Hot Stove: More on the Manny rumors

Mike SteffanosThursday, December 29, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

We spend a little more time on the Manny Ramirez Rumors from yesterday, and get Rick Peterson's take on Chad Bradford:

Daily News: Rick Peterson on Chad Bradford
We covered the Chad Bradford signing in our previous post, but Anthony McCarron has a quote from the Mets' pitching coach that's worth passing along:

When you're a guy with a unique delivery and you switch leagues and guys have no history with you, it's a great advantage. He's been a dominant ground-ball pitcher. Before the back problem, he was a premier right-on-right specialty guy because he gets grounders. He had a couple of big years for us in Oakland, facing the best righthanded hitters in the league.

For those that care, McCarron also reports that Miguel Cairo and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract.

The Providence Journal: Manny Rumors, part three
The Journal's Baseball Notebook takes note of Gotham Baseball's rumored four-way deal from yesterday. Their take on it:

Skepticism abounds surrounding this rumor, for several reasons. For one thing, it still doesn't address the Orioles' reluctance to trade Tejada in their own division. For another, the Mets would be trading five players (Heilman, Matsui, Benson, Bannister and Diaz) and $5 million for the Sox' left fielder, which would seem to be too high a price.

But the Web site (www.gothambaseball.com) also quoted a source as saying the Mets -- spurred on, perhaps, by the cross-town Yankees' acquisition of Johnny Damon and needing more star power for their in-house television network, which starts this year -- "will not rest until they acquire Ramirez." That may prompt them to overpay in a deal.

There seems to be a consensus out there in media-land that the Mets would overpay to get Ramirez to keep the buzz going for the TV network. In fairness to Omar Minaya, for every deal rumored to happen, nothing completely undefendable has occurred this off-season. You can argue the Cameron and Lo Duca deals, even the Delgado pickup, but there are good points to be made in defense of them. I'm going to hope that all of the people that are coming out in print to tell us what Omar is thinking really don't know. I'll hold on to the dream that the Mets' primary goal is to build a winner that can sustain itself for more than a couple of years. A deal such as this would surely dash all of my hopes, and leave me just counting the days until Omar joins Steve Phillips as ex-GM of the Mets.

Boston Globe: Manny again
Eric Wilbur pens a story primarily focused on Boston's efforts to trade Manny Ramirez for Miguel Tejada. Wilbur notes the statement from Orioles management yesterday that they will not trade Tejada, and that the Red Sox have not followed suit with Manny:

The Red Sox have yet to issue such a statement of course based on the fact that there's nothing more they'd love to do than unload Ramirez.

But without some semblance of equal value in return, it is simply not going to happen, which will spark a spring training / World Baseball Classic watch to see whether or not Ramirez will indeed hold out in lieu of donning the B cap once again. The Angels will not trade any of their top prospects, including Brandon Wood and Ervin Santana. The Troy Glaus possibility it now off the table, the slugger heading to Toronto to play for the revamped Blue Jays. If you believe the New York tabloids, the Mets have presented 5,675 scenarios in which to land Ramirez, but unless they give up a heck of a lot more than they have previously offered, Omar Minaya will not be getting his Bobo.

Again we hear of the Red Sox management's desire to obtain "equal value" in return for Manny. Of course, they can offer no guarantees against the fact that, at 34 years of age next year, Manny might be on the decline. As we've seen with so many others, including Mike Piazza, that decline can be steep and sudden rather than gradual.

Even if we accept the unlikely scenario that Manny is still mostly Manny at 35, 36 and beyond, the simple fact is that Manny is worth more to the Red Sox than to the Mets. Manny is an American League ballplayer to the max, playing pretty badly in one of the easiest left fields in baseball. If he gets a little banged up they have the option of playing him at DH. If, by the last year or two of his contract, he is not nearly worth the paycheck he is receiving, Sox fans can at least say that they had Manny at his best for several years. What will Mets fans be able to say? Please, Omar, pass on this one and concentrate on winning. If the team succeeds, TV ratings will take care of themselves.

Mets Daily: Interview with Michael Morrissey
If you want to get your Mets fix on more than just rumors, and you missed this last night, John Strubel has a very good "In the Studio" audio interview with Michael Morrissey, the Mets beat reporter for the New York Post. Thankfully, this interview covers much more than whether the Mets will land Manny.

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