Outfield: The Weak Market for Manny Ramirez

In his latest post to ESPN.com, Buster Olney takes a closer look at the dwindling market for free-agent OF Manny Ramirez.

According to Olney, the Angels, Mets and Yankees have all said they are out of the bidding on Ramirez, who is unlikely to draw interest from the Phillies, Blue Jays, Cubs, Tigers, Cardinals, Braves and others.

Olney adds that some GMs are concerned that if Ramirez signs a short-term deal that he believes is worth less than he thinks he deserves, he could end up being ‘unhappy,’ and, ‘As the Red Sox can attest, that didn’t work out so well in the end.’

Omar Minaya has been unable to convince ownership to sign Ramirez, Dan Graziano recently wrote in the Star-Ledger, and so he will not be on the Mets, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking.

…i actually believe ramirez will end up returning to the Dodgers, because, as i have said before, he needs Hollywood as much as Hollywood needs him…however, while i agree with graziano, if this continues to drag out, and there is a chance of ramirez signing a one-year deal, the Mets have to get involved…they have to

Last week, in a poll on MetsBlog.com, only nine percent of more than 7,500 voters said they did not want Ramirez on the Mets, while 49 percent would go so far as to guarantee him a two-year deal and 29 percent would give him a three-year deal.




31 comments
nagel100
nagel100

can't hurt for a few games in Spring training.  mets will see he is not a SS.  they should know that already but maybe he got a lot quicker in Michigan.

ctjoe
ctjoe

Anyone who thinks that Wilmer Flores is even a possibility at SS should not be allowed to ever write about baseball again.  It's beyond stupid.

eric88
eric88

Anybody but Tejada! Move Duda to short.

eric88
eric88

Hey Sandy, when are you going to realize Flores should be your everyday 1B. No brainer, he can rake and has always been an infielder. Dump those tackling dummies you have at 1st to free up 5 million to use elsewhere.

11gilkey
11gilkey

The guy struggled at third and second and people want to put at short.  I definitely want this guy to get a chance but lets be realistic here.  This guy is not a major league shortstop.  I would have like to see him play some first base.  Can't be worse than our two left hand hitting dolts. 

not4
not4

Hey Toby,


If memory serves, I never recall reading that Flores was bad defensively at SS, but more that given his size and lack of foot speed, the expectation was that as he filled out, he would lack the range to play the position.  


As for his not playing in 2 years, well, Kevin Mitchell never played a single game at SS in the minor leagues (almost exclusively at 3B with a handful of games at 1st or the OF).  Then as a rookie, in the middle of a championship season, the Mets played him 24 times at SS compared to 68 games in the OF (34 in LF, 6 in CF and 28 in RF) in addition to 1 game at 1st and 6 games at 3rd.  Obviously Mitchell was no SS, but if a championship caliber team can afford to play him at SS, surely a rebuilding team with no locked in player at SS, can give a guy like Flores a shot, particularly if he is still comfortable playing the position and even more particularly if he has lost some weight and maybe picked up some quickness.  Not saying to hand him the starting job, but let him compete and get some innings there in ST and see what happens.  

Derpy
Derpy

Wouldn't it be a nice change of pace for the Mets to develop a hitter who had a defensive position?  I don't even know who to blame here.  Is it the minor league coordinators failing to identify roles for player early enough in development?  Organizational philosophy that promotes hesitance?  The players being unable or unwilling to learn positions well enough?  Total lack of defensive talent?  Bad coaching?

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@eric88How is it a no brainer??? the

.211/ .248/ .295 .542 OPS line last year really instills that much confidence in you to just HAND him a position?

paqza
paqza

@11gilkey  From what I understand, he's pretty good at 3B and passable at 2B. Keep in mind that he had two messed up ankles during his cup of coffee.

Eric Koeller
Eric Koeller

@11gilkey  i agree with you....but you really have nothing to loose with trying it...you never know how it could work out

ReneNYK1
ReneNYK1

@not4  I totally agree we should give him a shot and especially if Ruben is not working out.He can be a great DH if we are playing the Yankees in the World Series too.LOL If he gain quickness it might help his move to SS

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@not4 I remember reading he was awful there and needed to be moved off. 


In 2010 in 130 Games he threw up a .953 fielding percentage

In 2011 in  120+ games he had a .966 fielding percentage. 


At the MLB  level that would put him at or near the bottom of all of baseball. 


I know Fielding percentage isn't the best gauge, but you don't have many more advanced looks at MiLB players.


But what this can tell you is.... He wasn't very good there.

Jon Pace
Jon Pace

@Derpy  Very, very fair point. I think the point you make is an extremely valid one as the organization has had a history outside of Strawberry, Wright, and Reyes of not developing players who were both good offensively/defensively. I should add the great Edgardo Alfonzo to that group but he is the exception in a player who could play multiple positions well (2B, 3B, hell I think he was drafted as a SS) but he also fits what you are discussing. 


The good news is I get the feeling that this is something you will start to see change in the next few years as the players Alderson's regime drafted start to come up to the majors. I also think with the pitching abundance the organization has that they will start to focus/continue on drafting hitters during the next few drafts.


So the long answer to your question, who to blame is the organization for their lack of taking the farm system seriously until 4/5 years ago.   

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Derpy This isn't anything different than every other team. If you look up and down at organizations most have 10-15 of these hitters without a position. 


And to be fair Flores does have 1 or 2 positions he can/should play being 3rd or 2nd. Unfortunately the mets have 2 of their 3 only proven starters manning those positions... Therefore Flores is the sort of "odd man out"


Flores was actually given pretty good reviews at 3rd when he was playing there. BUt then what do you do with David Wright. Players really can only play positions where their physical talents allow. That wouldn't be Outfield or SS for flores for the most part.

not4
not4

@Mark Kelly @eric88  Come on Mark, you're better than this - you know how ridiculous it is to point to Flores' stats from his injury-plagued cup of coffee to prove a point.  You are 100% accurate that it is foolish to just hand a starting role to Flores as he still has to prove he can produce at the big league level.  But to point to 101 PAs that he played with a severely sprained ankle is nonsense

not4
not4

@Mark Kelly @not4  Hey Mark, do you have any links to where you read he was awful at SS?  As I said above my memory (which is not what it used to be), was that there was consensus that he would be unable to continue to play SS as he filled out and with his foot speed, but it was usually coupled with a comment that when they (a scout) saw him, Flores displayed soft hands, a strong arm and surprisingly adequate (never great or even good) range.

ApM
ApM

@Mark Kelly @not4  Didn't they only play him there when sid pitched because ground balls were so rare. That's actually sounds like a real innovative way to get a bat in the lineup. Would be applauded today by the sabrmetric crowd.

Julian Mannino
Julian Mannino

@Jon Pace @Derpy  

The owners are responsible.  The Mets had a great shortstop they just let go,because the owners didn't have the money to sign him.  What big market team operates that way?  Now we find out that the Mets were under strict limitations on salary due to their loans, which was kept secret from the fan base.  Met fans were hoping for the Mets to sign players they never had the ability to sign.  


paqza
paqza

@Mark Kelly @Derpy  Most organizations have 10 or 15 Major League caliber hitters without a position? That's news to me.

oleosmirf
oleosmirf

@Mark Kelly @Derpy  but when the deadline comes, the Mets will be looking to trade Murphy (as he is the best 2B on the market and 2nd best 3B on the market) to a team like the Dodgers looking to add one last piece before their playoff push.


Maybe Murphy is having a career year and Guerrero and/or Uribe struggle and Sandy manages to steal Joc Pederson as a result and the Mets replace Murphy with Flores.


Not likely, but certainly not outside the realm of possibilities. 

natew
natew

@Mark Kelly @Derpy 

I think I would prefer Wright at SS and Flores at 3B, as bad as that would be...

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Mark Kelly @not4 @eric88  Mark, your making a lot of sense here as he hasn't earned a damn thing to this point. I'm reading where he's worked out a lot this off season and that's potentially a really good thing because looking at him last year I was shocked at how un-fit he looked. Don't get me wrong, i don't expect these guys to look like body builders on anything like that.But in a era where the vast majority of these guys work out all year I was amazed how puffy he looked last year.

not4
not4

@Mark Kelly @not4 @eric88  I hear you and while Duda put up some nice numbers in the upper minors when it "clicked", he just has not had the same consistent production of Flores at every level.  But that last step to the majors is the toughest, so agree 100% that Flores has to prove what he can do and earn his way into playing time.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@not4 @Mark Kelly@eric88I know... But the point was to say it's not as easy as no brainer... And to be honest i was lazy to look up Duda's MiLB stats and Ike's to prove that being this high on a guy is foolish. It no Matt Adams for Stl.


I like Flores a lot. I want him to be successful and I feel he's been knocked for far too long because of the perceived lack of position. 


But i'm also not just willing to hand Flores a position at 1st base.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@not4 @Mark Kelly It was said by Law and others a while back... before the mets moved him off the position.. So it's rough to find, everything you find i recent. 

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@ApM @Mark Kelly@not4It would be if it got more Bats into the lineup. But i also don't want to see Flores only getting 5-7 AB's a week.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@paqza @Mark Kelly@DerpyYeah most do. They have "positions" like Flores is a 3rd baseman 2nd baseman 1st baseman. But they don't have a defined position. 


Mostly you only see AAA guys with defined positions that are CF, SS, C's. The rest are extremely fluid.

paqza
paqza

@oleosmirf @Mark Kelly @Derpy  Even if we were to get Van Slyke and not Pederson, that's a trade worth making. Van Slyke would be a better corner outfielder than CY or EYJ playing every day and there's a very good chance he'd be better than Curtis Granderson. His numbers are basically identical to Jayson Werth's, who went from journeyman to above average starter as soon as he got playing time.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@natew @Mark Kelly@DerpyYeah i'm with you if that was what had to happen. 


Its just silly to throw someone out there to have them make a fool of themselves.


See Murphy in LF... Duda in LF...