Baseballistic
All Things Baseball

5 Reasons Why the Red Sox Should NOT Trade Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez

Another offseason, another 4 months of concern for each member of Red Sox Nation.  Why?  Because the team’s star leftfielder has once again asked to be traded, and while it’s not completely clear what Manny’s motive is, the front office has promised to “make a good-faith effort” to move Ramirez.  This has only added to the worrisome condition of the mind of each Red Sox fan, because moving Manny could have several negative consequences for the team and its success.  As a Red Sox fan, I share that concern.  Here are 5 reasons to keep Manny Ramirez — heed these words Theo Epstein!

1.  Can the Red Sox offense produce without Manny Ramirez?

Taking Manny Ramirez out of the Red Sox lineup could have a multi-pronged effect.  First, it means taking on of the top-10 hitters out of the team’s offense.  Ramirez hit .321 with 35HR and 102RBI last season, and he’s one of a select few hitters who can boast a career OPS of over 1.000.  In other words, removing him from the lineup immediately drops the Red Sox offense from its top-tier status to somewhere near the middle of the league.  But it gets worse…

If you take Manny Ramirez out of the lineup, there’s no one to protect David Ortiz, and it’s difficult to say if Big Papi can be big without another big bat behind him.  If the powerful 3-4 combination were broken-up, what would stop opposing pitchers from walking Ortiz to face a less dangerous hitter batting behind him? 

This primary concern can only be relieved if the Red Sox find a way to get equal offensive value for Manny Ramirez.  The problem is, that will be nearly impossible.  It is rumored that the Red Sox might deal Ramirez to the Angels for Scot Shields and prospects — that would do nothing to make-up for the offensive loss.  Sure, Boston might also sign JD Drew, but if you think Drew would calm the mind every Red Sox fan and fill the void left by Manny you’re dead-wrong. 

Yes, I know Manny Ramirez’s value will never be higher, but why does that matter?  I also know that Manny is more willing to accept a trade this year than he’s ever been before (as is evidenced by his lengthened list of acceptable teams to be traded to), but he’s been asking for this trade for years.  And finally, I know that the Red Sox could make a lot of progress toward building a successful team for the future, but Red Sox Nation is far too impatient to appreciate that.  The goal is to win and to win now, and the best way for the Red Sox to do that is to keep Manny Ramirez. 

2.  Will the BoSox clubhouse be the same without Manny Ramirez?

Manny Ramirez is one of the “fun guys” of the Red Sox clubhouse, and the team has been losing a lot of its clubhouse chemistry over the past couple of seasons.  When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, they were known for referring to themselves as the “team of idiots”; the idiots being led by Kevin Millar, Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek, and Manny Ramirez.  Since then, Millar and Damon have left for Baltimore and New York respectively, leaving Varitek and Ramirez (as well as 2006 addition Mike Lowell) to make playing for the Red Sox fun.  It’s hard to say how much of a role the great clubhouse chemistry played in the Red Sox’ miraculous 2004 championship, but the team has slipped the past couple of seasons, so all indications are that it was significant.  Losing another great clubhouse guy can’t be good, and then there’s the off-the-field relationship between Ramirez and Ortiz…

Every time David Ortiz hits a homerun, you’ll see Manny Ramirez waiting to bear-hug Big Papi, do their funky handshake, and otherwise embrace him at the plate.  If Manny Ramirez whacks a ball out of the park, David Ortiz greets him in the dugout with similar enthusiasm.  I have a hard time thinking of a similar relationship between 2 players anywhere in baseball.  Break that up, and not only will the team lose Manny Ramirez, but it will also lose the great attitude of its most valuable player, David Ortiz.  Ortiz already said that the team wouldn’t be the same without Manny Ramirez; Papi said in an interview that “I won’t get anything to hit without Manny behind me” and “the team will miss him a lot if he gets traded”. 

Trading one of your two best hitters and upsetting the other in the process is hardly a smart decision.

3.  I know he’s 34 years old, but…

Another point that many supporters of trading Manny are making is that he’s aging.  Manny Ramirez is 34 years old, but he’s hitting as well as he ever has, and there’s not much to lead me to believe that won’t continue.  I know hitters decline as they age, but take a look at Baseball Prospectus‘ prediction for Manny next few seasons…

  • 2007 — .287/.377/.555 with 36HR and 114RBI and an EqA of .317
  • 2008 — .278/.371/.530 with 33HR and 110RBI and an EqA of .309
  • 2009 — .283/.373/.539 with 32HR and 101RBI and an EqA of .312

As you can see, Manny is expected to decline slightly in terms of BA/OBP/SLG over the next few seasons.  Meanwhile, his HR and RBI numbers aren’t projected to drop much, and his EqA is expected to stay in the .310-.320 range. 

If Manny Ramirez isn’t projected to decline much over the next few seasons, I don’t see any reason to worry about his age.  He’s not a guy who succeeds only because of his speed — in fact, speed is the one tool missing from Manny’s toolbox of success — so age won’t have as much of a negative impact on Ramirez’s numbers as it might on players like Alfonso Soriano and Juan Pierre (to use a couple of this offseason’s signings for example).  This might make Manny Ramirez more valuable in a trade, but it also makes keeping him look like a terrific plan. 

4.  Equal value? 

What exactly is “equal value” for Manny Ramirez?  Ummm…?

Let me first define what it’s not and see if that helps…

The Red Sox are rumored to have discussed a trade with the Houston Astros for Brad Lidge and Morgan Ensberg.  In other words, Boston would pick up two high-risk players for a proven all-star slugger.  “Equal value”?  I think not. 

Another rumored deal was with the LA Angels of Anaheim, in which the Red Sox would acquire Scot Shields, another solid Major Leaguer, and 1-2 prospects.  Scot Shields is a great reliever, and the Angels might even be willing to throw in Juan Rivera, plus a top-prospect.  Unfortunately, that’s still not “equal value”.  Scot Shields is a great reliever, but the Red Sox seem to have horrendous luck with the bullpen so I wouldn’t put too much stock in him.  Juan Rivera has excellent potential, but he hasn’t proven himself to be an all star caliber player.  The Red Sox could certainly use another decent offensive prospect, but I can’t envision the Angels parting with Howie Kendrick or Brandon Wood, even for Manny, meaning that the prospect wouldn’t be a top-tier one, but rather another potentially risky acquisition.  “Equal value”?  Ummm, closer, but still no. 

And the other rumored trade has Manny Ramirez going to the Mets for Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman, and a prospect.  Milledge has loads of potential, but if you saw any of the Mets vs. Red Sox games at Fenway Park this season, you witnessed some disgusting outfield play by Milledge, who left Boston thinking Fenway’s Pesky rightfield is the baseball equivalent of hell.  Aaron Heilman is a very good young pitcher who could become a premium reliever or a solid starter.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned in the breakdown of the trade with Anaheim, a proven guy elsewhere is a question mark in Boston.  Adding another young player helps, but it still doesn’t make this deal worthwhile for the Red Sox.  “Equal value”?  ‘Fraid not.

So if those three trades don’t give the Red Sox “equal value” for Manny Ramirez, what would? 

The Red Sox need to acquire a premium hitter in this deal, one that would fill the hole left by Manny Ramirez.  If the Texas Rangers would be willing to trade Michael Young for Ramirez, I could see that as “equal value”.  If the Angels were willing to include Brandon Wood or Howie Kendrick in the deal, that might be “equal value”.  If the Braves would trade Andruw Jones and a decent prospect for Ramirez, that would be “equal value”.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any of those 3 teams pulling the trigger on a trade that would sacrifice their future to acquire Manny for a few seasons; in other words, “equal value” for the Red Sox doesn’t necessarily mean “equal value” for the other team(s) involved. 

If you can’t get “equal value” in a trade, why make the deal? 

5.  Can you imagine the Red Sox without Manny Ramirez?

I know this will sound kind of weird, bizarre, and ridiculous to anyone who isn’t a Red Sox fan. 

As I write this, I find it hard to imagine the Red Sox without a guy who has been a staple in their lineup for 6 seasons.  I can’t imagine the Red Sox PA announcer not saying “batting 4th, the leftfielder, Manny Ramirez” before a game at Fenway Park.  And it’s even harder for me to fathom seeing Manny Ramirez in a different uniform — even watching Indians games from the 1990’s makes me go “huh?  I thought he was a Red Sock”. 

I think the majority of Red Sox fans share my fear (I think that’s what it is) of seeing Manny Ramirez not playing in Boston, or worse, playing for another team.  I doubt Theo Epstein would want to upset the better part of his team’s fan-base, and trading Manny Ramirez would do just that. 

My view on this issue is definitely affected by me being a Red Sox fan, but I think it’s a fair assessment of the situation surrounding the possibility of Manny Ramirez leaving Boston. 

To sum-up everything you just read in 8 words: trading Manny Ramirez is NOT a good idea.

Advertisements

9 Responses to “5 Reasons Why the Red Sox Should NOT Trade Manny Ramirez”

  1. nyisite

    ubymjaw auoobngw sleiugsghe djxlqyuaqo

  2. manny is better for red sox and he isbetter thAN AROD

  3. red sox r good enough already. put ’emback on the indians.
    GO TRIBE!

  4. Substantially, the post is actually the freshest on this notable topic. I fit in with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the exceptional clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. Admirable work and much success in your business dealings

  5. Between me and my lazy husband, I won the argument on this subject because he did not agree with you.. lol

  6. swimways baby spring float with canopy…

    […]5 Reasons Why the Red Sox Should NOT Trade Manny Ramirez « Baseballistic[…]…

  7. How to Build Relationships…

    […]5 Reasons Why the Red Sox Should NOT Trade Manny Ramirez « Baseballistic[…]…

  8. Vi har deksler til din iPhone….

    […]5 Reasons Why the Red Sox Should NOT Trade Manny Ramirez « Baseballistic[…]…

  9. Gosip Artis…

    […]5 Reasons Why the Red Sox Should NOT Trade Manny Ramirez « Baseballistic[…]…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: