We all knew it was just a matter of time, but yesterday Manny Ramirez finally re-signed with the Dodgers giving their offense an immediate boost. I’ve talked about his potential affect on the other members of the Dodgers line-up, like James Loney and Matt Kemp, but after the long, drawn out negotiations some new questions have formed for me.
Exactly how will Manny not getting his desired contract affect his play? Will he pull a “Manny Being Manny” episode, much like he did in Boston and simply pack it in at times this season when he doesn’t get what he wants? Thanks to the opt-out clause incorporated into his contract that would seem unlikely.
While he didn’t get the contract he necessarily wanted, he is in a position to collect $25 million this season and potentially prove his doubters wrong. If he puts the debacle in Boston further behind him and proves that he is the preeminent right-handed bat in baseball today, could he then get a 2-3 year contract? I would certainly think it’s a possibility, giving him more incentive to go full throttle from the outset.
Want to blame the economy for the contract Manny received? Well, if $25 million is a “down” contract, I’d hate to see what he thinks he’d have been worth if things had not gone the way they have. I don’t think anyone really expected a team to throw 4 years, $100 million at a player of his age and his track record, no matter what the economic circumstances. Not with everything still fresh in people’s minds.
People do tend to be shortsighted, however. With a full season between Manny and his divorce from Boston, people will find a way to forget. Don’t think Manny won’t opt out of LA if he sees a big-money contract as a viable option.
What does this mean for Manny in 2009? To me, it means you have a player who is significantly motivated to make people stand up and fully take notice of him. He knows the clock is ticking and he needs to be on his best behavior and perform at his peek if he wants to get that one last payday.
He’s currently holding an ADP of 22.73 according to Mock Draft Central, and there certainly is no reason to shy away from him now. It’s going to be Manny being Manny, but unlikely in the negative sense. Look for him to have a major impact out west. Look for him to Be Manny.
What about everyone else? Do you expect Manny to have a big season in 2009 or do you expect him to pull the same stunts he did in Boston?
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