The anti-Manny faction has been a little misconstrued, methinks. Here's a better representation:
I’m firmly in the middle, which is a faction that doesn't get a lot of time on KNBR. I can’t imagine Manny Ramirez clomping around the outfield for four years, helping the Giants win the entire time. Barry Bonds is not the normal aging curve.
Let me repeat that: No one should ever, ever, ever, ever, expect another player to age like Barry Bonds aged. This is true now, and it will be true until the apocalypse. Committing over 25% of a team’s payroll to a 36-year-old player over several years is almost always a bad idea. It would have been a bad idea to do so with Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, and 99% of the other players in the Hall of Fame. It would have been a good idea for Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Is Manny Ramirez going to age like Frank Robinson or Hank Aaron? Betting on the latter is for suckers, especially if there’s a budget to which you’re trying to adhere.
Henry Schulman gives us hope, however, that the Giants are approaching this in a rational way. Two years? Sure, we’ll talk. Longer? Nah. At two years, Manny kind of fits in with the Renteria Doctrine (get better in the short-term without disrupting long-term plans).Even though Manny would block at least one young outfielder, if not two, there is no denying that he’s an offensive beast. Also, an offensive beast.
Herein lies the comment starter: Assume the Giants wait the Manny situation out, and they outfox Scott Boras. You know, like what happened the last time the Giants signed a Boras client. Assume that Manny comes to San Francisco on a two-year deal. What should the Giants do to create space in the outfield? If Aaron Rowand is untradeable, which he probably is, is it a given that the Giants would try to move Randy Winn? Or would Fred Lewis suddenly become a potential trade piece? I gag a little bit when I think about trading a pre-arbitration, league-average corner outfielder to make room for a player in his late-30s, but I can’t help but wonder what a Sanchez/Lewis package could bring in return.