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Completely Off the Rails: Gomes and Manny

January 20, 2012

The A’s officially inked Jonny Gomes to a one-year contract today worth a reported $1.1M a year. A terrible move that really makes one wonder what exactly is the plan in Oakland these days? He is expected to platoon with Seth Smith in left field where if platooned the correct way the two hit a combined .302/.374/.513 in 2011. What a stellar outfielder we have in our two left fielders! This move just keeps Collin Cowgill and Michael Taylor buried on the depth charts if not starting the season in Sacramento, and this move clearly is part of the justification for now trying to shop Brandon Allen around.

It is in the shadow of that crazy move (and a series of similarly ill-thought out ones) that an even crazier rumor emerges. Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles reports,

“Los Atléticos de Oakland están “muy interesados” en Manny Ramírez para probarlo como su bateador designado la próxima temporada, dijo una fuente de entero crédito a ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com.”

That basically translates that the A’s are “very interested” in none other than Manny Ramirez to play designated hitter in 2012. This is a blog I’d like to leave available for the reading pleasure of people of all age groups and all sensitivities to curse words, so my analysis here will simply be “?” as opposed to expletive strewn prose that could easily have preceded that question mark.

Ramirez, who retired last year after a second time being ensnared in MLB’s drug prevention program after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, played in just five games for the Rays, having one hit in his seventeen plate appearances. He has worked out a deal with MLB that instead of the mandatory 100 game sentence, given that he retired and missed nearly the entirety of the 2011 campaign, that he will need to serve a 50 game suspension in 2012 before he can put his cleats on. Ramirez a career .312/.411/.585 hitter, with a 69.6 career WAR, with an incredible .417 wOBA and startling 152 wRC+ is one of the best right-handed hitters of all time and has never had a season (excluding very brief stints last year and in 1993) with a wRC+ under 121 (1994). Ramirez would be a legitimate bat in the A’s lineup, though it is unclear where he’d stand following such a prolonged lack of exposure to MLB pitching and though it is unclear how effective he can be turning 40 this May.

But while Manny may very well be Manny, both at the plate and in how he acts – this is one show that the A’s certainly don’t need. The A’s need to give time to Chris Carter at designated hitter. For someone who has shown such promise – Baseball America had him as their pre-season 91st ranked prospect in 2011 and as high as 28th the year prior – he has nothing left to gain in Triple-A where he owns a .264/.361/.529 batting line with 53 home runs in 953 plate appearances. Carter, who has flopped big time in his limited time at the MLB level going .167/.226/.254 in his 124 plate appearances spread across 2010 and 2011, making him a -1.3 WAR player during that time, still deserves a shot. Carter has looked nothing short of atrocious as a fielder and designated hitter seems to be the only palatable spot for him if he is to remain an Oakland Athletic.

That said, lately Billy Beane – if rumors of his shopping Allen are to be believed – hasn’t shown much hesitance in throwing in the towel relatively early on players nowadays and maybe this would be another chance to supplant long-term success with short-term entertainment value. Let’s hope that whatever water Billy has been drinking this past week has been cleaned up and this deal does not come to fruition, having Gomes and Smith steal time from our prospects is more than enough long-term damage, we don’t need Manny being Manny bringing more.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasper & Ghosts permalink
    January 20, 2012 9:58 pm

    Only time will tell what all these moves mean.

    However, I do hope we sign Manny because at this point what hurt will he do ? None. We are doing downhill for a long ride…

    • January 20, 2012 11:17 pm

      I’d like to think there is a master plan that I am not figuring out here, but right now this just seems like short term deals that are “wins” in terms of the deal but not in terms of the greater plan. The Seth Smith trade if looked at in a vacuum is a good trade perhaps, but with the A’s needs and roster it wasn’t good at all. But you are right, only time will tell. I sure hope we aren’t at the point where “what hurt will he do?” is the modus operendi but I am not entirely surprised we’re there either.

  2. MogulMan permalink
    January 20, 2012 10:01 pm

    The new CBA doesn’t prohibit Manny from playing in the minors during his suspension, does it? I recall that Selig was upset about it last time……

    • January 20, 2012 11:18 pm

      I think it does. I am not entirely sure though. I believe it does not prohibit him from participating in Spring Training however.

      • MogulMan permalink
        January 20, 2012 11:45 pm

        I think he could play up to ten games as part of a “rehab” but no more….

      • January 20, 2012 11:47 pm

        Like right prior to his return or something right?

      • MogulMan permalink
        January 21, 2012 1:35 am

        I think so. It looks like the schedules would accommodate a few home games with the Ports and then the remainder at home with the River Cats….. :)

      • January 23, 2012 12:50 pm

        Sacramento will have a heck of a ballcub. Don’t need Manny for a few days ha!

  3. thebaseballalchemist permalink
    January 21, 2012 5:17 am

    I really hope Billy know what he’s doing. I read a comment by him not too long ago where he referred to clubhouse chemistry as being “overrated”. Well nothing would prove that more than an addition of a cancer like Manny. At least it would attract the public eye and sell a few more tickets.

    • January 23, 2012 12:52 pm

      I agree that clubhouse chemistry is overrated. How often is it just the result of winning? Everyone gets along when you win, little differences become magnified when you are losing. But then there is a young team who could have a former superstar like Manny who doesn’t leg out groundouts. Shows up when he wants to. I agree he most certainly is cancerous and I think there he does have a very real impact and potentially a long-term one care of some guys just coming up. Don’t like this idea in the least.

  4. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    January 21, 2012 10:46 am

    Manny ..no way ..let’s distance ourselves from the Bash Brother era roid stains… not to mention any personality issues…and blocking our youth.

    There are sooo many layers to the revamp of the squad. I know that we are all discussing the At Bats situation..and although an ardent fan.. I don’t dive into stats like ya’ll (but love reading everyones’ research!)
    What IS THE TRUTH about the ABs..
    Not counting those who are back .Crisp ..Carter..Taylor
    it seems to me we have changed as follows *only in’s and outs*

    2011 OUT
    Matsui
    Willingham
    DeJesus
    Sweeney
    partials (Con Jackson/Kouzz/Jai Miller)

    2012 IN
    Reddick
    Cowgill
    Smith
    Gomes
    Partials (Kai’ /Barton/Allen)

    Nearly the same number …
    So SHOULDN’T the available AB’s be about the same as last year for Carter and Taylor unless they can win a job at Spring Training?

    • January 23, 2012 12:56 pm

      Yeah, I do think there is a bit of a bad reputation re: PEDs in Oakland that adding Manny would certainly not help. There’s a myriad of issues with signing Manny and you identify all of them.

      You are correct that the AB’s are the same the way you divided them up and that is the problem. Crisp has about as many as he had before. Smith/Gomes basically take Willingham/Matsui(in the OF)’s at bats. Then Reddick takes DeJesus’. That doesn’t leave very many at-bats for Cowgill or Taylor to develop into a future usable piece. How can we find out what they can be if they never get a chance to prove it?

      • Hungary4A'sNews permalink
        January 25, 2012 9:36 am

        Thanks for the comments.

        In my list I see that the names are much younger and have much less experience at the MLB level (except Gomes). I was also interested in the fact that the ABS seem to match up.
        I agree that 2 of Taylor/Carter/Reddick/Cowgill will ONLY have the same AB chances as 2011 A’s fringe players were allowed…BUT…I guess I can see the upside in the fact that we have jettisoned the dinosaurs…so AT LEAST we will see a lot of 2 of that group just listed who have ‘won’ the AB chances.
        so to me that is a bright upside.

        That said…I also prefer-the let All the youngins play approach…
        Being that Crisp is in the fold (for now) I am stating that the Other OF/DH spots (not to mention 1B) can still give us all something new to monitor and cheer on…

        Not a full smiley but much better than the other 2011 list…

      • January 25, 2012 7:27 pm

        Have we really jettisoned dinosaurs? Coco Crisp is I think rapidly becoming a dinosaur, and while Seth Smith isn’t a dinosaur, he also doesn’t neatly fit into contending in 2015 (he becomes a free-agent after ever-escalating arbitration salaries after 2014).

        I don’t know. I preferred the 2011 list for what we were trying to accomplish in 2011 – which I thought was that we could legitimately win. The 2012 list doesn’t seem to match the goal very well – which should be build a nucleus to compete in 2015.

Trackbacks

  1. Maybe Manny Being Manny in Oakland is OK? « The Todd Van Poppel Rookie Card Retirement Plan

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