Manny Ramirez , OF, Dodgers - Third base coach Larry Bowa says the team has to watch him closely this year, because last year Ramirez wore down quickly and didn’t have his usual pop.
“When he came back to us last year, he looked a bit lost, and it took him a while to get things going,’’ said Bowa. “I know he wants to play another three or four years, so this is an important year for him.’’
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported that Ramirez was considering not picking up his $20 million option and instead returning to the American League to DH. That’s where he may be headed in 2011.
If Manny puts up big numbers in 2010 with the Dodgers, then there is no reason to think that an AL team won't feel comfortable investing at least $10 million+ in Ramirez. But as we saw this winter, the market for free agent DHs was terrible and many had a difficult time drumming up interest for their services. But then again, Manny offers more than just offensive production because he is a brand and one of the few players in baseball who has first name recognition and brings with him a certain buzz factor.
Furthermore, at this stage in his career, Manny offers no value in the field and is statistically one of the worst left fielders in baseball. So in turn, getting Manny off the field and focusing solely on hitting could increase his overall value to the club...as long as his offensive production remains stellar.