Why the Phillies Should Grab Manny Ramirez
1. He posted an on-base percentage above .400 in his age 37 and 38 seasons (.418, .409) with considerable power (.241, .162 ISO) in a limited amount of playing time.
2. His less-than-savory personality traits — if true — are irrelevant. What, his perceived issues as a teammate are going to drop the Phillies from nine games back to 20? The upside is that he helps reverse the recent freefall in which the Phillies have lost 10 of their last 13 games.
3. He wouldn’t take meaningful playing time away from anyone important. John Mayberry has a .599 OPS and Juan Pierre‘s contributions are heavily overrated because of a gaudy .326 batting average. Man-Ram’s defense would be a downgrade but would be more than made up for if he gets back to his 2009-10 ways, which is not inconceivable.
4. He would be very cheap to acquire. Ramirez signed a Minor League contract with the Athletics that would pay him a salary of $500,000 if promoted. The Phillies would need to guarantee Ramirez MLB playing time to entice him to sign, but he has no leverage in asking anything more than what he was getting from the Athletics.
5. It would be a very interesting signing that would help cull some of the angry fan sentiment at least for a short period of time. The upside is that he becomes a fan favorite like Pedro Martinez; the downside is that he struggles and fans lose faith in him, in which case you’re back where you started.
6. Ramirez could potentially be a trade chip. Teams are looking at Jim Thome after his recent inter-league hot streak and the Phillies will have to get creative to keep his bat in the lineup when they return to NL play. Maybe Ramirez catches fire as well, and if the Phillies don’t make up significant ground by the middle of July, they can flip Ramirez to a contender for a living, breathing Minor Leaguer that could be of use in the near future.