Now, I am not a fan of Manny Ramirez's antics, and really not a fan of adding a 38-year-old to an already young and competitive squad, but Ramiriez's bat is still pretty lethal and would instantly provide Toronto with one of the most deadly lineups in all of baseball—given Aaron Hill and Adam Lind return to form, and of course Jose Bautista is re-signed.
Ramirez, by all accounts, was very well-liked in both the Dodgers and White Sox locker rooms, and was viewed as a nice guy to have around the clubhouse, so people who say he's a cancer don't have their facts straight.
In 265 at-bats last season, Ramirez hit .298 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. Those numbers don't really jump out at you, but Ramirez has always loved hitting in Toronto and the AL East. Also, if you project last season's stats out over 600 at bats, you roughly get 25 home runs and 100 runs batted in, so adding that to an already potent lineup gives the Jays instant credibility, and also instant recognition in the American media.
However, this move to me screams out Frank Thomas all over again for some reason. Granted, Ramirez is coming off of a down year by his epic standards, and not off a random career outburst year Thomas enjoyed the season prior to joining the Jays.
Ramirez if anything provides Jays fans with a reason to go out to ball games. Could this move just be a marketing tactic by Rogers in the hopes of selling more tickets? That possibility is always there, but from what I heard, Ramirez is not washed up with the bat, where the Jays could use him the most.
In 2008, Ramirez hit 38 home runs, and in 2009 he hit 19—in only 352 at bats, about 200 at bats shy of his career average, so his power stroke appears to never be wavering. However, avoid putting him out in left field at all costs.
This move however could really put a damper on Toronto's defence. Ranked as one of the best defences in the league the last few years, with the likes of Scott Rolen, Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells, Yunel Escobar, Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay, all deserving of Gold Gloves, the Jays defence would have to shift Adam Lind to first, and if the rumors are true about Dan Uggla, Uggla would make his way to third.
The Jays lineup will instantly transform into one of the best in all of baseball if Uggla and Ramirez are signed, though.
What should be next on the Jays agenda?
Finding a suitable closer and some relievers?
Please feel free to comment and post who you think the Jays should go after for relievers..if this move does in fact go down.
Thanks for reading all.
A random photo of Manny in Toronto (uploaded today)