Blog Entry

Manny just the latest A's retread

Posted on: February 20, 2012 4:15 pm

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The A's adding Manny Ramirez was hardly a surprise -- it had been rumored for a while.

But it should be even less surprising considering the track record of A's general manager Billy Beane. Beane, of course, is probably the most famous general manager since Branch Rickey thanks to Moneyball (the book and the movie), in part because of his eye for a bargain. While the biggest bargains in baseball are usually young players under team control, there's also value in older players that other teams don't want anymore. Beane's had more than his share of those types of players.

In Moneyball (again, both the book and the movie), Beane's addition of a declining David Justice paid dividends as the 36-year-old hit 11 homers in 118 games (not to mention putting up a .376 on-base percentage). Last season Beane picked Hideki Matsui out of the bargain bin along with a Stephen King novel at Barnes and Noble. This season, it's Ramirez, who will get $500,000 contract with the big-league club after serving his 50-game suspension.

Manny RamirezUsually it's former corner outfielders or first basemen who can add a little slugging and some decent on-base skills (two things Ramirez should be able to add), to be used at DH and in the field in a pinch. Sometimes it works, like with Justice, other times it doesn't -- like with Eric Karros in 2004. But it's cheap, so these veterans are as disposable as a cheap razor.

Here's a list of significant players near the end of their career signed by the A's since Beane took over in 1998, followed by the season they played in Oakland, how old they were that season, their slash line, home runs and RBI.

Rickey Henderson 1998, 39, .236/.376/.347, 1, 14 (led the league with 66 stolen bases and 118 walks)
*Kevin Mitchell 1998, 36, .228/.279/.346, 2, 21
*Tony Phillips 1999, 40, .244/.362/.433, 15, 49
Tim Raines 1999, 39, .215/.337/.341, 4, 17
*Mike Stanley 2000, 37, .268/.363/.464, 4, 18
Ron Gant 2001, 36, .259,.344/.420, 2, 13
*David Justice 2002, 36, .266/.376/.410, 11, 49
*Ron Gant 2003, 38, .146/.182/.220, 1, 4
*Eric Karros 2004, 36, .194/.243/.311, 2, 11
*Mike Piazza 2007, 38, .275/.313/.414, 8, 44
Mike Sweeney 2008, 34, .286/.331/.397, 2, 12
Frank Thomas 2008, 40, .263/.364/.387, 5, 19
*Nomar Garciaparra 2009, 35, .281/.314/.388, 3, 16
Jason Giambi 2009, 38, .193/.332/.364, 11, 40
**Hideki Matsui 2011, 37, .251/.321/.375, 12, 72

* retired after their year with the A's
** Matsui is currently an unsigned free agent

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Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:11 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

"Retread" is just another word for "Cheap" in Oakland. Billy Beane might win an Oscar via Brad Pitt, but the tragedy that movie didn't portray enough is the sin of Oakland's ownership letting this team slip this far down the tubes, again, and again, and again.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:42 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

It's hard to be an A's fan! I can't wait till they move to San Jose and start paying real money for players so they can compete.

Since: Aug 27, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:29 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

I'm sure Manny will be a terrific influence on the young players in Oakland. If they're really lucky, he'll take Cespedes under his wing and teach him everything he knows about conditioning and sacrificing for the team.

Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:29 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

Billy Beane is a it again! Many people forget that years ago Billy hooked up with former player Chile Davis and conned  former All-Star Carney Lansford out of a great deal of cash. In fact the headline read, "Chile conned Carney with Beane".

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:13 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

At 1/2 a Million this can't really hurt them.

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:13 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

News Flash!  A's gonna suck this year and Billy Beane doesn't care.  Really.  He is prepping the team for when they move to San Jose.  He is trading away the guys that will be too expensive by then for prospects who will be ready to contribute in 2-3 years.

Manny?  Roster filler.  If he comes back and rakes... he gets traded for more prospects.  If he is done... well, it was the league minimum (basically). 

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:09 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

Manny doesn't even get that money unless he makes the Big League roster so it is not like they are paying him 500k yet.

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:07 am

Manny just the latest A's retread

It's not about manny being productive it's about making headlines for the A's and selling some tickets. These types of moves do sell tickets and garner attention to a team of nobodies. ESPN will be all over this when they get tired of talking about Cespedes. So it's good move for Beane in that regard. 

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:34 pm

Manny just the latest A's retread

I don't get why people are going crazy that Manny is making 500,000 this year in the MLB. If Manny plays well it's money well earned and money well spent and if turns into nothing it's only 500k. Albert Pujols is going to be making over 20 million when he's Manny's age and I bet the Production/Price will be a better number for Manny than it will be for Pujols. I mean who thought A.J. Burnett was going to break down at 34. Maybe Albert will break down at 34 you never know. People are hating this deal because they hate Manny, not because it's a bad deal.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2012 8:44 pm

Manny just the latest A's retread

Beane is sooo overrated, the most overrated GM ever. Manny`s finished and any $ to him is wasted. The genius GM will continue to be praised and maybe, just maybe the cheap skate A`s get a new ballpark or town & he gets to go Miami Marlin hog wild. 

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