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Gas is Down, and So Is Manny

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> Rumor has it that Scott Boras is still looking for a 4-year, $100 million deal for Manny. Now the reason everyone hates Scott Boras is because he demands that kind of money – and usually gets it. Yet I can’t help but think he’s screwing over Manny right now.

Manny will get the money. He’s too good of a player not to. However, he’s never had a large number of suitors for a few reasons:

1) Few teams can pay $20+ million for anyone.

2) One of the two teams with the highest payrolls is obviously not going to sign Manny (the Red Sox)

3) He’s old. Rebuilding teams are not going to sink that kind of money into a guy who will be losing production as the team improves.

The ideal fit for Manny is Los Angeles. It’s a big market. He was adored by Dodger fans last year. There is less pressure than other big markets. Yet due to the demands of Boras, the Dodgers have not bothered with any serious negotiations outside of the original 2 year/$45 million deal that was subsequently pulled.

The problem for Boras is that he’s losing potential suitors by the day. The Yankees have already spent a half billion this off season. The Cubs signed Milton Bradley. The Angels have sworn off Manny, and the Mets are working on their bullpen. Even the Rays filled their DH spot.

That leaves the Dodgers and…..who else? You can never count out the Yankees regardless of the player in question, but they’ve made such a splash this off season, I can only see them signing Manny if a two-year deal gets the job done.

Perhaps a dark horse such as the Nationals, who appear to be offering deals to everyone and signing no one. Word on the street is they’ve decided against signing Manny. Even if they try, does Manny want to be irrelevant this late in his career? Manny is tough enough to keep motivated on a winner. On a losing team, he would lose interest by May.

The Dodgers recently made news by announcing that they decided to inquire about Adam Dunn. Chances are, they are using Dunn to get Boras to lower his demands. Boras needs the Dodgers desperately. If the Dodgers fill their void in left field by looking elsewhere, Boras will lose all leverage with other teams.

In what I believe was a response to the Dodgers using Dunn to gain leverage, it has recently been reported the Giants have an interest in Manny. It might be a fit personnel-wise, but the Giants have already raised their payroll this off season, and are near the highest they’ve ever been. Adding $20+ million simply doesn’t make sense.

Whether Boras orchestrated these rumors or not, they definitely play to his advantage. The Dodgers don’t want to see Manny on another NL West team. Not only will it hurt their playoff chances, it would be a PR nightmare.

Manny carried the Dodgers to the NLCS, and fans believe that the Dodgers have the money to sign him, especially after the Andruw Jones buyout.

In the end, I believe Manny will be a Dodger. I think it will take a 3-year/$70 million offer, plus an option year to get the job done. However, Manny will probably not get a four year deal. The only way Manny doesn’t end up a Dodger is if Ned Colletti refuses to go to three years. Either way, the longer this drags out, the worse it is for Scott Boras. He’s losing candidates by the day, and if he waits too long, eventually one team is going to have a Manny-opoly because everyone else has either dropped out or filled their needs.

The price of gas is down, and so is Manny.

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