Skip to content

Rangers wrong to gamble on Manny Ramirez

Jul 3, 2013, 5:51 PM EDT

Jon Daniels AP

It’s been three years since Manny Ramirez was last a worthy major leaguer, hitting .311/.405/.510 in 66 games for the Dodgers in 2010. They then shipped him to the White Sox, where he was a disappointment in 24 games, hitting .261/.420/.319.

In 2011, Ramirez signed a cheap deal with the Rays, played five games and then retired rather than face his second steroids suspension, this one for 100 games. He was arrested for domestic battery in September of that year. He later had second thoughts about retirement (not that he did much thinking about it in the first place) and attempted a comeback with the A’s in 2012, hitting .302/.348/.349 in 17 games in Triple-A before walking away again.

Now, after a successful stint in Taiwan, Ramirez is being granted another chance, this one from the Texas Rangers. He’s 41, and he’s probably no longer any sort of option in left field. For him to be useful to a major league team, he’d have to go back to hitting like he did at 38, which doesn’t seem likely.

How unlikely? Well, here are the 10 most similar players to Ramirez through age 38, according to Baseball-reference: Ken Griffey Jr., Rafael Palmeiro, Gary Sheffield, Frank Robinson, Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Frank Thomas, Mel Ott, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa. Every single one of those guys put up Hall of Fame numbers, yet only two were still going at 41. Thome had 163 at-bats last year in his age-41 season, hitting .252/.344/.442. Mays hit .250/.400/.402 in 244 at-bats for the Giants and Mets at 41. He played one more season, hitting .211/.303/.344 in 209 at-bats, before wrapping up his illustrious career.

Raul Ibanez obviously excepted, there just aren’t many good 41-year-old players. Hence, I don’t see the upside for the Rangers here. All of the Ramirez baggage would hardly be worth overlooking if Ramirez were a guaranteed 850-900 OPS. As is, he’s far, far from it. Now, sure, it’s only a minor league deal. The Rangers took no financial risk by bringing in Ramirez today. They did, though, lose the ability to take the high ground, at least for as long as Jon Daniels is running the team. The message is that winning is the only thing. Does anyone think Ramirez is a repentant cheater? That he’s full of regret? I’m not sure he even considers what he did to be cheating.

I don’t see why Daniels and the Rangers had to lower themselves this far. Better bets than Ramirez will be available in trade talks this month, and some of them might even be upstanding citizens.

Latest Posts
  1. Marcus Stroman should be suspended for throwing at Caleb Joseph’s head

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 8.09.58 AM

    MLB acts swiftly when someone grabs their crotch. Let’s see how swiftly it acts when a guy goes headhunting.

  2. Jonathan Papelbon’s suspension could possibly save the Phillies $13 million

    Sep 16, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.33.53 AM AP

    With this gesture, Jonathan Papelbon made triggering his 2016 option a tad tricker.

  3. Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp exchange words in the dugout

    Sep 16, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

    Puig Kemp

    I have to imagine that spending seven-plus months in close quarters with Yasiel Puig can get on one’s nerves.

  4. And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 16, 2014, 6:52 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 6.50.57 AM AP

    The Angels clinch a playoff spot. The Nats and Orioles pull to within one game of clinching their divisions.

  5. VIDEO: Royals utilize speed for walk-off win against White Sox; keep pace with Tigers

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:09 AM EDT

    royals

    Pinch-runners Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore proved to be the difference in a thrilling win for Kansas City.

  6. Albert Pujols leaves game with hamstring cramp

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT

    Albert Pujols AP AP

    Pujols suffered the injury while running to second base on a three-run double.

  7. Giants activate Brandon Belt from disabled list

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:09 PM EDT

    Brandon Belt Brandon Belt

    Belt has been limited to just five games since July 19 due to concussion symptoms.

  8. Anibal Sanchez could return as a reliever

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    Anibal Sanchez Getty Getty Images

    Sanchez has been sidelined since early August with a right pectoral strain.

  9. MLB suspends Jonathan Papelbon seven games for incident during Sunday’s game

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:21 PM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon Getty Getty Images

    Papelbon made a lewd gesture at fans and had a confrontation with umpire Joe West during Sunday’s game.

  10. Bryce Harper exits game after feeling lightheaded

    Sep 15, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

    Harper struck out in his lone at-bat in the top of the second inning before Nate Schierholtz replaced him as a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning.

  11. Ryan Zimmerman hoping to rejoin Nationals for final week

    Sep 15, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals AP

    He last played on July 22 and previously missed time with shoulder problems that have plagued him, but he did hit .282 with five homers and an .802 OPS in 53 games when healthy enough to be in the lineup.

  12. VIDEO: Jacob deGrom begins game with eight straight strikeouts to tie MLB record

    Sep 15, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT

    Jacob deGrom Getty AP

    Jim DeShaies previously did it with the Astros in a start against the Dodgers on September 23, 1986.

  13. Danny Duffy not expected to rejoin Royals’ rotation until next Monday

    Sep 15, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Danny Duffy AP

    Duffy hasn’t pitched since September 6 due to rotator cuff inflammation.

  14. Bud Selig says MLB and players union will meet this week about domestic abuse policy

    Sep 15, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    Bud Selig Getty Getty Images

    The union must sign off on a policy before any changes are put into effect.

  15. Hyun-Jin Ryu does not have structural damage, could be available for playoffs

    Sep 15, 2014, 6:48 PM EDT

    Hyun-Jin Ryu Hyun-Jin Ryu

    Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu exited his Friday start after just one inning with shoulder pain, but an MRI revealed relatively positive news: Ryu does not have structural damage and has been diagnosed with inflammation.

  16. Matt Harvey throws simulated game, takes break until 2015

    Sep 15, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Matt Harvey Getty Getty Images

    “Everything we were trying to accomplish this season has been accomplished.”

  17. Evan Gattis missing seventh straight game with strep throat

    Sep 15, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    Gattis Getty Getty Images

    Gattis met with team doctors Monday in attempt to find an answer with his illness.

  18. Vic Black likely done for the season with strained rotator cuff

    Sep 15, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT

    Vic Black Getty Getty Images

    Mets reliever Vic Black has been shut down with a shoulder injury just one week after returning from a disabled list stint for a herniated disk in his back.

  19. Alex Avila out of lineup with lightheadedness after foul tip to mask

    Sep 15, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    Alex Avila AP AP

    Avila has suffered multiple concussions since last season and also missed time earlier this month after taking a foul tip off the mask.

Featured video

Papelbon destined to be traded?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (3552)
  2. B. Belt (2325)
  3. A. Rizzo (2313)
  4. J. Hamilton (2067)
  5. C. Young (2058)
  1. R. Castillo (2030)
  2. B. Gardner (1999)
  3. H. Ryu (1923)
  4. A. Pujols (1836)
  5. C. Kershaw (1767)