Not really sure what to make of this, but Kenny Ken Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports spoke to Manny Ramirez recently (as passed along by MLB Trade Rumors), and the unretired A’s slugger told him that he “almost signed with Toronto.”

He didn’t sign because “There were doubts. At first they said yes. Then they said, ‘We’re going to have to think about it.’ ”

Alex Anthopoulos declined to comment on the story, according to Rosenthal.

Interesting. I mean, it’s not like– as we discussed many times around here– there wasn’t a definite use for Manny as a potential DH if, 50 games into the season (when Manny’s suspension is up), the Jays were ready to platoon Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion at first base, instead of having Lind keep flailing away against lefties. And it would have been a low-risk, high-reward play for them… at least on the field.

Did they get scared off by the potential PR hit? By fears of souring the clubhouse? Because they ran it by John Farrell who then recounted some of the horrors of his days in Boston alongside Manny?

Who knows? But as a baseball move, it kinda made sense– especially considering the deal Manny was willing to accept (he signed a minor league deal that’s worth about $500K in the Majors). If things work out for him in Oakland– hardly a given, and it’ll be a long time before we find out– Jays will really have to answer for this one.

Or… theoretically they’ll have to answer for it, that is. In reality they’ll just pretend it never happened and say nothing at all. And… actually, that’s probably the smart thing to do, huh?

 

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Comments (24)

  1. I don’t think they wanted a guy like that coming into Spring Training and having your top prospects watching a guy act the way he does around your young star prospects. Just my opinion though.

    • Well, that’s the common refrain. But how does he act that’s so bad, really? People have this crazy negative opinion of the guy, like he somehow could poison young players. You mean like he did on that Boston team that made the playoffs almost every year and won a pair of World Series?

      I don’t doubt that he’s a character, but I think the intensity with which people dislike the guy is so much more a product of media narrative than anything anybody really knows about him.

      The domestic battery charge makes him a whole lot less likable in my eyes, obviously, but until that happened, I’d have had absolutely no problem with him.

      • I dont think the Jays would be too concerned about Manny in the clubhouse.When motivated and havin someting to prove I think he would be a great addition. I see AA backing out though because who do you take bats away from for half a year of Manny? The charges probably wouldn’t help his cause in my eyes as well.

        • agreed. at this stage you have guys alot younger who are probably a lot more capable than manny. even on a minor league deal adding manny just isnt necessary.

      • as we have heard many times, AA leaves few stones unturned, which includes talking to clubhouse attendants, his number 1 player and fellow Dominican Jose Bautista, Farrell, etc And, the Manny you reference as not distracting a World Series team is four seasons removed and two PED suspensions ago and would be on his fourth team since then. He couldn’t beat out Scott Posednik in LA near the end, and left the Rays without even speaking to them after the announcement of the 2nd suspension last year. The Rays organization and his teammates, as I recall, were pretty pissed about how he handled that issue.

        Just me, but I just don”t imagine there will be any regret here on passing. I think this gamble is not worth taking for a team needing to forge its own identity.

        Just

  2. Honeslty, I would have been totally happy with a Manny signing.

    Really, other than the ‘he could be a bad influence’ stuff, what is the downside?

    Come May or June, we might like the opportunity of being able to add someone to the DH spot. Who knows? Maybe E5 or Lind get injured or have terrible years.

    • The Jays have plenty of players in the minors who will probably be ready for some Big League experience if any of those scenarios occur. Manny would have just been a cock block.

  3. I feel like the Kentucky Fried Masthead needs a bit of a rework.

    Oh…but the article was interesting.

    • Your opinion is noted and will most certainly not be taken into consideration.

      • Thank you for noting my opinion.

        Much like DJF, KFC is also better when you’re stoned.

        Relatedly unrelated: did you hear there’s a 12 piece special on now? It comes with that radioactive coleslaw no one ever liked as a kid. Yum!

  4. Meh.

    By all accounts his bat speed wasn’t there last year (according to Law, anyway). I can’t find it in me to get worked up over not signing him.

    • I’d agree except the no risk part of the equation. Unless you think his mere presence poses a risk– and it could be argued, I guess, at least in PR terms, if not in actual detriment to the development of your prospects terms.

  5. I believe that Jays have an established, youthful, energetic culture. Who knows how Manny would have affected this. I also don’t think he’s an obvious upgrade over any other options at DH. I’d rather see prospects getting big league AB’s than a washed up player with a ‘not-so great’ reputation in the game.

    • Over his last 95 MLB games– so including his awful start in Tampa at the start of 2011– Manny put up a .284/.392/.436/.828 line.

      No prospect is stepping in and doing anything close to that. Maybe Manny couldn’t either, but for a minor league deal at $500K, it would have easily been worth a look.

  6. The optimist in me sees this as a possible move for trading Lind. EE at first base (which would make me chew my fingers off) and Manny at DH.

    Oh well. Not sure I’d be happy with that after all.

  7. People don’t care? Really? Manny may be old and (possibly) washed up, but he’s exactly the type of crazy talent who could linger on and be productive way past his prime. If you take out the tiny 17-AB sample last year and a cup of coffee as a 21-year-old, he’s NEVER had a season that wasn’t incredible. He’s willing to accept a minor league deal and you’re telling me you don’t want to deal with character issues?

    Not signing him definitely tells me the Jays think they’re a year away. Which is cool and all…but goddamn.

  8. Ball so hard muthaf***as tryna arrest me.
    First Selig gotta test me.
    What’s 50 games to a muthaf***a like me, can you please remind me?
    Ball so hard that shit crazy. Y’all know battery charges don’t faze me.
    The A’s could go 0 for 162 and I’d look at you like this shit gravy

    -Jay Z, “Mannys In Oakland”

  9. Anthopolous read Boy Who Cried Wolf.

  10. It would’ve been nice in June to be at a game and slowly whisper, “I believe in you…” at Manny like Peter Pan’s daughter in Hook.

    Maybe I can flap my arms at Dustin McGowan like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Angels In the Outfield instead.

  11. Meh. I could see Snider making left field and Thames filling the roll of DH if necessary. Why not?

  12. No Manny is no biggie. Manny probably would have run into AA and ask if he was the video guy. Funny thing, AA was a video guy not too long ago.

    Manny’s OBP is certainly boner inducing, but I wonder if his bat speed was an issue.

    I think developping our young core group in a Manny-free world trumps whatever production Manny could bring above and beyond EE in a 100 game window.

  13. I think it was Omar coming available that ended the Manny talk. Only five bench spots available, and I think having Vizquel around to mentor Yunel, Lawrie, and Hech on playing the INF outweighs what Manny might have brought.

  14. what is the likelihood that manny hits better than EE (current DH) at this point anyway? in an EE-lind platoon manny would get to DH vs lefties, no issue there, but with the righties who’s better to DH, EE or manny?

    cause if hes not good enough, then we’re talking about taking up a roster spot for a part-time DH for 2/3 of a season whose current levels of production are completely unknown, and then tossing in his sideshow-bob act to boot. I really dont think this is a non-move that we’re going to cry over later in the season.

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