Friday, December 10, 2010
Manny being money: more Sox paydays
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- Free agent slugger Manny Ramirez so far is without a job for 2011, but he'll still be drawing paychecks for years to come, regardless of whether another team signs him.
One of those teams that will be enriching Ramirez is the Red Sox, who will be paying Ramirez $1.94 million for the next 16 years, beginning in 2011. That's part of the $31 million in deferred payments contained in the eight-year, $160 million contract Ramirez signed with the Sox in 2000.
Ramirez has an additional $15 million coming over the next three years in deferred payments from the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is to be paid in installments of $3,333,333 in 2011 and 2012, followed by an $8.3 million windfall in 2013. (All contract figures from Cot's baseball contracts.)
Monday marks the 10th anniversary of the press conference held at Fenway Park to announce Ramirez's signing, which was executed by team owner John Harrington and then-general manager Dan Duquette. Ramirez's acquisition was looked upon in part as impetus for the building of a new Fenway Park, for which Harrington was vigorously lobbying at the time.
Two years later, Harrington and the Yawkey Trust sold the club to John W. Henry and company.
"Coming over here, I'm going to have a better chance to win the ring, win everything,'' Ramirez said at his press conference, word that no doubt will be echoed by Carl Crawford when he is introduced at Fenway Park on Saturday. ''That's why I made my decision to come to Boston.''
Unlike Harrington, Ramirez fulfilled his goal, as a star of World Series-winning teams in 2004 and 2007.
Was he worth the money? Most Sox fans, at least until Ramirez forced his way out of town in 2008, probably would have argued in the affirmative. But by the bloodless calculations of FanGraphs.com, which calculates metrics like wins above replacement (WAR) and then assigns a dollar value to it, Ramirez comes up short. Ramirez's peak value came in 2003, according to FanGraphs, when he had a 6.0 WAR, worth $16 million. Even then, he ranked just 15th in major league baseball, far behind Barry Bonds (10.7, $30m), Albert Pujols (9.5, $26.7m) and Alex Rodriguez (9.1, $25.6m).
By 2007, his last full season with the Sox, Ramirez was down to 120th, tied with teammate J.D. Drew, at 1.8, $7.2 million. He spiked back up to 6.2 in 2008, but most of that was due to his spectacular performance with the Dodgers after his trade to L.A.
Maybe that's why Theo Epstein tried trading him so many times. It wasn't because Ramirez was an irritant, it was because he wasn't giving the team enough bang for its buck.
But starting next year, those bucks will keep on coming. Until 2027. Manny being money.