Oct 28, 2009, 1:13 PM EST
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Manny Ramirez “is planning to exercise” his $20 million option for 2010 rather than test the free-agent market again following a season in which he was suspended for 50 games.
Ramirez remains a headache and he’ll be 38 years old next season, but had he accumulated enough plate appearances to qualify for the season-long leaderboards his .949 OPS would have ranked seventh among all NL hitters. His adjusted OPS+ of 149 would have ranked sixth in the league and was just slightly below his career mark of 155 (which happens to be the 25th-best OPS+ in baseball history).
And while much was made of Ramirez slumping down the stretch his .838 OPS after the All-Star break still put him in the league’s top 25, including ninth-best among outfielders. Love him or hate him Ramirez is still one of the elite right-handed bats in all of baseball and the Dodgers should be happy to welcome him back on what is essentially a one-year, $20 million deal.
Replacing his production would have meant either giving up tons of value in a trade or handing out a huge long-term contract to a free agent like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. Compared to either of those options another season of Manny makes a lot of sense for a Dodgers team that went 59-40 (.600) with Ramirez in the lineup this year. He has until five days after the World Series to make his decision official.
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