Buster Olney's latest discusses the bleak outlook for Manny Ramirez in landing the long-term, big money contract he's seeking.
"It is evident that during a winter when many teams have clamped down and watch their dollars more carefully, executives with many teams have decided they cannot trust Ramirez on a multiyear deal."
Olney provides a brief rundown on all teams considered potential players in the Manny sweepstakes, paraphrased below:
- Dodgers: offered 2 years, $45MM and then rescinded offer after Boras didn't respond.
- Angels, Mets, Yankees: Indications are they're out of the bidding.
- Blue Jays, Padres, Rockies, Diamondbacks: Looking to reduce payroll, rather than add.
- Brewers: Are content with Ryan Braun in left field.
- Phillies: Are content to have signed Raul Ibanez.
- Cubs: Have "maxed out" their spending this year, and already have Alfonso Soriano.
- Tigers: Already have too much on the books and a full outfield.
- White Sox: They want to get younger.
- Athletics, Twins, Indians, Rays, Royals and Pirates (among others, Olney suggests): Would never commit $20-25MM per year to one player.
- Cardinals and Braves: Have enough outfielders and are focusing on pitching.
The obvious irony in Olney's breakdown is that the Red Sox are the only team with both the money and the need to offer what Boras is asking and, of course, they're not bidding. Olney suggests the Nationals would be an interesting fit but that the concern there would be that Manny might not play hard during the duration of his contract on a team that may or may not be at all competitive.
Olney concludes with a red flag for any team hoping to get Manny at a reduced rate:
"Some general managers have said privately, a great concern they have about Ramirez is that if you give him a deal of two or more years that is worth far less than he thinks he deserves, you run the risk of having a very unhappy Manny. As the Red Sox can attest, that didn't work out so well in the end."
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