While the SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman can’t confirm earlier reports the Giants have made a formal offer to free agent OF Manny Ramirez, he does offer some insight regarding how the game’s premier
space cadet power hitter might end up in the Bay Area.
I can offer this educated guess on what it actually might take to get Ramirez to San Francisco. It has been reported widely that the Dodgers had on the table and then pulled a two-year, $45 million offer to Ramirez. Now I’m told that the Dodgers alternatively offered Ramirez $60 million over three years, also ignored, also pulled off the table.
If so, the starting point for any deal would have to be more than 3/60 — which is a lot more costly than a creative incentive-laden deal that would make sense for the Giants.
One industry source did make a good point, though. The Giants have a lot of money coming off the books next year, roughly $29 million on Randy Winn, Dave Roberts, Bengie Molina and Randy Johnson alone. Now, you have to mitigate that with raises due to Aaron Rowand, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Edgar Renteria, etc…, but still if Ramirez or any other free agent was willing to take a severely backloaded short-term deal, the Giants would be in much better position to pull the trigger.
Grant of McCovey Chronicles scoffs at the rumors, noting his Giants are “supposedly chasing a defensive abomination with a Neptune-orbiting brain, and the proposed commitment would keep him on the team until he™s 40.”
The parallels between Ramirez and Bonds are just too great, and that™s the best frame of reference we have. And the constant, emphatic denials from the Giants front office, including a team spokesperson quoted in the rumor-laden article linked to above, have been constant and emphatic since the offseason began.
If I were convined that the .396/.489/.743 Manny were a good bet going forward, I’d be all for the signing. It’s more likely that the .296/.388/.493 Manny from 2007 would be the player that shows up for the duration of the contract. Combine that with his defense, and you have an overpaid and immovable player who plays one of the only positions of depth on the team (corner outfield), and who doesn’t fix a broken offense by himself.