Are the New York Yankees Desperate Enough Offensively to Go After Manny Ramirez?
Ramirez, perhaps one of the greatest players ever to not win an MVP award, excelled in his time with the Rhinos. In 49 games, he cleared the fences eight times, drove in 43 runs and posted an average of .352. Those numbers are obviously inflated because of lesser competition in Taiwan, but it doesn't appear like the 41-year-old is in terrible baseball shape.
As far as we know, there has yet to be an offer from a major league club for Ramirez. He's not exactly in a position to be picky, seeing as he hasn't played in the bigs since the beginning of the 2011 season with the Tampa Bay Rays.
There's one team that could be desperate enough to give him a shot, and perhaps that's exactly what Ramirez is looking for—a team desperate enough offensively to give him playing time.
That team is the New York Yankees.
The Yankees offense has been pitiful this season. Their .238 team batting average is second-worst in the American League. Their .301 on-base percentage is fourth worst, as is their .379 team slugging percentage.
They score approximately 3.9 runs per game, the same as the offensively challenged Houston Astros. This is concerning, to say the least.
The month of June has been especially unkind to the Yankees. Their .212 team average this month is dead last in the AL and second-worst in the entire league (Chicago Cubs, .203). They've scored just 3.2 runs per game this month.
Granted, the lineup wasn't expected to produce all that well with a bevy of stars on the disabled list. However, after the ragtag group of replacements started off hot, many believed the Yankees had a chance at salvaging the first-half of their season.
Now that nearly everyone in the lineup has cooled off (save for Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki), the Yankees are barely treading water in the competitive American League East.
Ramirez, while not a season-saving type of player, could provide the Yankees with a nice boost offensively. Travis Hafner has been asked to DH against both lefties and righties, and his performance has suffered as a result. Platooning Hafner and Ramirez there would help to keep Hafner fresh and the lineup more productive.
Ramirez can also still play the outfield in an emergency, though it's doubtful that manager Joe Girardi would trust him enough to start him out there on a nightly basis. If he hits, though, the Yankees will have no choice but to do what's necessary to get him in the lineup.
The Yankees need offense, and Ramirez needs a home. Despite his strong roots with the Boston Red Sox, he should be willing to make the switch over to the Yankees if they offer him a contract. At a low salary, the Yankees would not lose much if he falters.
Ramirez is currently sitting on 555 career home runs—14th all-time. He is eight away from Reggie Jackson and 14 away from Rafael Palmeiro. A healthy Ramirez could feasibly hit that many home runs in the second-half of the season.
It's up to the Yankees to make the offer, but it represents a low-risk, high-reward move for a team running out of options.
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