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Manny Ramirez Signing With A’s

February 20, 2012

 

The A’s have signed Manny Ramirez to a minor-league contract worth about $500K. While ESPN.com writes that he wouldn’t be eligible until June 2nd, I’m not sure if for whatever reason the two games in Tokyo don’t count because by my count his 50-game PED suspension would be up by May 30th, Ramirez’ 40th birthday.

Ramirez is one of the most prolific right-handed hitters in the history of baseball, a career .312/.411/.585 hitter, with 69.6 career WAR, an incredible .417 wOBA and startling 152 wRC+ never having had a season (excluding very brief stints last year and in 1993) with a wRC+ under 121 (1994). He instantly becomes one of the best bats in the A’s still relatively weak lineup. The deal being so cheap and not costing a roster spot at this juncture also makes it one of virtually zero risk with potentially high reward. This also could color how the A’s lineup going forward looks as it could spell a trade for a Brandon Allen or Kila Ka’aihue come his expected midseason return.

While my initial thoughts on this trade were strongly in opposition to it. I have really come around and think that you cannot go wrong on such a low-cost signing, especially for someone who – if not for the performance-enhancing drug issues – would be a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer. I look forward to getting the opportunity to watch Manny play in Spring Training and perhaps in the Coliseum as a member of the A’s as well. In 284 career plate appearances at the offense sapping Coliseum, Ramirez has only hit .316/.419/.527 with 12 home runs. One thing amazing about this deal is just how much baseball has changed in recent years with the return of normal aging curves. A talent of Ramirez’ ability, even at 40 would’ve commanded far more attention just five or six years ago than he has this year where the A’s get him for virtual pennies on the dollar. This will certainly make this team that much more interesting…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasper & Ghosts permalink
    February 21, 2012 5:03 pm

    I like signing Manny Ramirez for many reasons. 1. He’s a proven MLB player 2. It was extremely cheap 3. He’s the best hitter we’ve had in years 4. His arrival could motive/teach our young players.

    Steroids don’t make you a great hitter, maybe you’ll hit the ball a little further. But you won’t have great timing or make great decisions. That is pure talent & ability. Barry Bonds was AMAZING. Steroids only help so much or else MLB would be filled with body builders.

    Anyway. Manny is amazing too. At 39, being caught twice with PED’s and taking a huge pay cut. This seems like a humbled man still wanting too prove himself. I believe all our younger players can learn a lot from Ramirez (At his age). He has one of the best swings & understands the game.

    This is win/win. Yes, He will take away at bats from our younger players. However, they likely aren’t ready anyway. Beane wants to save them for 2015 (hopefully). And Manny won’t take away from the race at first base.

    Plus If things go right, we could win the division. You just gotta believe. /end rant

    • February 22, 2012 1:55 pm

      I agree completely – but I don’t think things going right and winning the division is an option. Things have to go seriously like sprial out of control bad for both Anaheim and Texas.

    • Dangerous Dean permalink
      February 28, 2012 3:32 pm

      I would agree that since I have very little abililty to hit a MLB pitch, taking steroids won’t make me a MLB masher. BUT, if you give a good MLB hitter steroids, and he hits the ball 5 to 10 feet further, he is suddenly a bigger threat.

      And judging from the crazy offense generated in the late 90s until about 2008 (the Manny Era) the effect is probably a lot bigger than my 5-10′ example above. Heck, look at the bulked up middle infielders who were hitting the ball out ONE HANDED to the opposite field during those days. Anyone who played the game in the golden era of the 50s and 60s will tell you that in those pre-roid days, that sort of thing didn’t happen.

      But we do agree that it will be fun to watch Manny. For me the fun will be watching the non-roiding Manny to see what he is capable of doing au natural.

      And yes, I am fully aware that my beloved Rangers were as big a juicing club as any in those days. I think that they were guilty as sin, so I am not blaming the As for doing something our boys never did.

      • February 28, 2012 10:48 pm

        Very true. They didn’t give ability to someone with none. But the enhancement was obvious. Bret Boone immediately comes to mind with your middle infielder example. How he became a power threat is beyond me.

        I’m very interested in what he can do. I think all fans should be. It won’t tell us anything regarding steroids though in my mind. If anything it tells us what a typical 40 year old could be like. Also the “experiment” would be sort of negated as it also potentially shows the rust of one year away from professional baseball.

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