Let's get this guy. There, I said it (or rather wrote it). He'll be a free agent so it would only require money. If we sign CC Sabathia, we'll lose a first round draft pick anyway, so why not go for two Type-A's?
(If the Yanks keep losing, one of the benefits is that they'll secure their first round pick and will not have to surrender it if/when they sign a Type-A free agent.)
Despite going to the pitcher-friendly NL West, Manny is crushing the ball: .391/.485/.752 with LA (and .323/.422/.588 on the year), including two more homers last night. After another 0-fer (with three Ks) for Arod, I think he's too inconsistent (on a year-to-year basis) to lean on. Manny is the epitome of consistency, especially with RISP, the biggest problem for the Yanks this year.
Over his last 11 seasons, Manny's failed to hit better than .300 with RISP just once (2007), and that was still a respectable .276. Arod is far more up and down from year to year - he's hit over .300 (with RISP) just twice in five years with the Yankees, and in six of his last 11 seasons. His BA has dropped as low as .248 (in 2004) and as high as .364 (2002).
Perhaps it's more helpful to look at the last five seasons (since Arod was traded for). The following are each of their batting averages with RISP from 2004 to 2008:
Arod: .248, .290, .302, .333, .274
Manny: .340, .358, .323, .276, .339
Is it motivation after being traded that's caused Manny to hit so well? If so, how much would he be motivated to play for his 'hometown team' and against Boston, the team that spurned him? On the other hand, do we want a player that can be so easily swayed by motivation?
As for his defense, it's really not as bad as we've been led to think. The problem before this August is that he played left-field in Fenway Park, which counts balls that hit the wall as 'playable' when we really know that 90% of those are totally unplayable (seeing as the wall is 37 feet high). Now that he's in a normal left-field in LA, we can better gauge his defense. Both his Range Factor per game and Ranger Factor per 9 innings were below average in Boston, but since going to LA they're both better than league average. The same is true for his RZR (Revised Zone Rating), which improved more than 60 points after his move to LA. His NL defense is better than Jason Bay, Carlos Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Pat Burrell and Luis Gonzalez (certainly not Gold Glove company, but not terrible either).
The biggest problem though is that Manny wants a long term deal, and could ask for $25 million per year (Scott Boras is his agent). Three years is too many, but I'd sign up for one or two with an option. You're guaranteed to get at least an above average hitter (even in his late 30s), and potentially one of the best in baseball.
Imagine a 1-2 (or technically a 3-4) punch of Arod and Manny. And I'd still offer arbitration to Abreu. If he declines, we get two draft picks. If he accepts, it's a nice problem to have too many good hitters. There could be a DH/OF rotation of Matsui, Abreu and Manny (assuming they don't trade Matsui or Damon).
But at the end of the day, I doubt it will happen. The Mets, Phillies and Dodgers are more desperate for offense, and Cash seems averse to signing aging stars anymore (at least those from other teams), but I'm hoping the NL teams won't spend the money on what they see as a DH.
Here's a question for you: which was a better signing? Moose to the Yanks or Manny to Boston? I remember living in Boston at the time, and the radio hosts talked about how Moose was a better signing, because good pitching beats good hitting.
- The Scranton Yankees won another nail-biter, 1-0 in 13 innings (the game is available to watch for free on MiLB.tv). Ian Kennedy started, and despite allowing 11 baserunners in five innings, struck out eight and did not allow a run. Mark Melancon pitched two perfect innings using just 14 pitches (sick!). Kei Igawa will go for the sweep against Pawtucket tomorrow. If they do finish off the Sox, Phil Hughes could pitch in the Brickyard Showdown, a one game championship between the IL and PCL champs (which will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on Tuesday (9/16) on ESPN2).
- Trenton lost game two of the Eastern League finals, 13-10. Austin Jackson went 3-6 with two doubles.