Monday, December 04, 2006

How Much is too Much for Manny?

With the rumors creeping out of the woodwork that the M's are involved in the Manny Ramirez trade talks, I don't feel guilty about writing another blog entry that fuels that speculation. With this news, I've had a hard time not pondering what it would take to land Manny. A lot of the reality is based on whether Boston wants to be rid of Manny for financial concerns, or because of how tired they are of his antics (how they don't want to have to deal with having an unhappy Ramirez on the team, so they're granting his wishes to be traded).

If the trade talk out of Boston is for financial relief, it would appear that the Red Sox would be coveting prospects and cheap MLB'ers in return. So, that eliminates the possibility of trading Richie Sexson directly to Boston to swap some salary around. Of course, Boston has Lowell manning third and Youkilis manning first, and there's no way Sexson would take ABs away from Ortiz at DH. While Sexson would likely be a very nice fit, offensively, in Fenway, I just don't see a fit there, unless someone else takes Lowell or Youk (yeah, right) off of Boston's hands.

What is assumed is that Boston wants a new closer so Jonathon Papelbon can move into the rotation. The Mariners actually have some pretty good relief pitchers that would provide the financial relief to the Red Sox, and fit their need pretty well.

Throw John Hickey's name into the rumor-mongering pot now. He introduces a three-way trade between Boston, Seattle, and the Giants. Seattle gets Manny and Noah Lowry, Boston gets Adam Jones, JJ Putz, and perhaps a prospect or two, and San Francisco gets Richie Sexson. Everybody's happy. That trade makes so much sense for both teams. Depending on what other players would be involved, that would be the ideal scenario for me.

So, my question is: How much is too much for Manny? Would that amount change if the M's get a starting pitcher in return?

For Manny alone, I'd give up Jones and Soriano OR Putz, and another tacoma-level, non-pitching prospect or two. Anything more than that, without the Red Sox sending cash along, and it'd be much, much tougher to stomach.

Throw in a side deal for Richie Sexson, and send a starting pitcher in return, then I might be willing to pony up a little more.

Still, if the M's land Manny Ramirez, I'm going to be more giddy than I was two offseasons ago when the M's landed Beltre. Wait. I'm getting my hopes up. There's no way the M's could pull this move off.


At 12/06/2006 12:03 PM, Blogger Snave said...

Good points, Paul! I shudder to think of giving up Adam Jones and/or J.J. Putz, but ya know... if it would mean getting someone like Ramirez to Seattle, I don't see why the M's shouldn't do it.

Re. Sexson, I like the rumor going around about a three-way deal that would send Richie to SF, Benitez from SF to Atlanta, Rafael Soriano to Atlanta, and Tim Hudson and Adam LaRoche to Seattle. There would undoubtedly be some other players involved in such a deal. But LaRoche had an OPS of .915 last year, and if it matters for Safeco, he's a LH hitter who hit 32 HRs last season (he did K 128 times). Hudson didn't do so well last season, but he has had a great career, and he has pitched in the AL before. I think he would do quite nicely at The Safe.

So if we could swing that three-way deal, then why not do the prospects/relief deal to Boston for Manny Ramirez? Send them Putz and Jones and ...?

I think an outfield of Ramirez, Ichiro and Guillen would look pretty good. LaRoche at 1B would be great, and when Ibanez wasn't at DH he could play some 1B. Snelling could do some OF and DH too. The left side of the infield is fine with me, as is.

So what would the rotation look like? Felix and Washburn would be joined by Hudson, but we might need to find a bit more help. Acquiring Hudson and Ramirez would preclude signing a Schmidt or Zito, but there are still some guys out there like Tomo Ohka and John Thomson who could serve in the #4 slot. The #5 slot could probably be taken by Baek or Woods.

There has also been a rumor that Baltimore might like to acquire Ben Broussard. I doubt he would bring much more than a #4 or #5 starter in return, if that... but I'm guessing the O's would like to get rid of Kris Benson or Jaret Wright. Of course someone like Adam Loewen would be much nicer to have, or even a reliever like Chris Britton.

If Putz and Soriano were gone, what would the pen look like? Would Sherrill become the closer by default? Would the Mariners keep Mateo, out of necessity? How ready are O'Flaherty, Huber, Green and Fruto to "step up"? Do we have any other guys in the minors who can fill in? Could Huber close? Without Putz and Soriano around, it would seem to me the rest of the team would have improved but the bullpen would have become the Achilles' Heel.

Whatever happens, I think Bavasi wants to (and needs to) make a splash of some kind, for a number of reasons. Not only is it to save his own job, but to keep fan interest alive and sell tickets. If the Mariners acquired a pitcher like Hudson and an OF like Ramirez, I think fans would have to get just a little bit jazzed about the 2007 Mariners, knowing that at least on paper the team would be better than the 2006 edition.

At 12/06/2006 12:06 PM, Blogger Snave said...

Oops, when talking about what a new bullpen might look like, I forgot to mention Lowe.

From among Huber, Sherrill, Fruto, Mateo, Green, Lowe, O'Flaherty and maybe Woods they could cobble together a halfway decent pen.


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