For better or worse, the Yankees are bound to kick the tires on Manuel Aristides Ramirez this off-season. After all, it’s not every day that a first-ballot Hall of Famer who just so happens to be one of the greatest hitters of his generation becomes a free agent. The Yanks know they need offense, and no one player on the market could better supply them with that than Manny.
But at the same time, the Yankees don’t quite need another long-term contract backloaded to provide some 40+ DH-type with a $20 million payout. The Yankees, in other words, will be in on Manny only if the years are right. The years might very well be wrong.
According to Tracy Ringolsby, Manny wants at least five years and $85 million. Earlier this year, as MLB Trade Rumors reminds us, Peter Gammons believed that a four-year, $100-million deal would land Manny. So it seems that Manny is looking for four or five years and between $17-$25 million a year. That’s not an unrealistic assumption for Boras.
Of course, for Manny’s suitors it is. The Dodgers seem to be pricing themselves out of the race, but that could be just be a marketing ploy. They want Manny; Manny likes L.A. Their demands just need to match, and by negotiating now through “sources” and columnists, things might be easier during face-to-face meetings next month.
The real problem with Manny’s potentially signing a long-term deal with the Dodgers though is the duration. Manny is 36 right now and funnily enough, is not getting any younger. He’s never been a great defender, and he’s only getting worse. He can still hit though and belongs on an AL team.
The Dodgers, Yankees and Mets figure to be in on the bidding. After their amazing offensive showing against the Red Sox this week, the Angels should consider Manny’s services as well. Perhaps he’d fit on the White Sox too. But at these prices and at these years, not too many teams are going to call upon Manny as appealing as his numbers are.