Well, here it is. Somebody had to write this, right? Now that Manny Ramirez is a free agent (he was released by the Oakland Athletics on Friday night), the question is going to be asked: should the Boston Red Sox re-sign Manny?
The short answer is, well, probably not.
I'm a pretty big Manny fan, as I always have been. I was sad to see Manny go when the Red Sox traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers and received Jason Bay, who I also grew to love, in return.
Alas, that was back in 2008. Manny still had some productivity left in him after the trade, but his performance waned over the next few seasons. Then, there was the steroid scandal. On top of that, Manny was arrested on charges of domestic assault. Not exactly a great ending to what was once a Hall of Fame bound career.
That wouldn't be the last we'd hear from Manny, of course. At the start of the season, he announced he was coming out of retirement. He signed with the A's, served his 50-game suspension for violation Major League Baseball's performance enhancing drug policy (for a second time), and never made it back to the bigs.
Now, Manny's a free agent. So should the Red Sox sign him?
My immediate verdict is no. Boston fans, more than anybody else, know what a pain in the you-know-what Manny can be. He basically talked his way out of town. Think about adding that to the disaster that has been the Red Sox since last September? It's a frightening thought. Also, it's not like he was tearing it up in Triple-A. Manny played fewer than 20 games for the Sacramento River Cats this season, and while he did bat .302, he struck out 17 times and went homer-less.
Of course, there could be an upside to bringing back Manny. Maybe he just never found a comfort zone in Oakland. We all know that he can produce at Fenway Park, and maybe a reunion with David Ortiz and his former club would spark him. With the injury to Carl Crawford, there is room for him out in left.
It would be risky, but maybe it would be worth giving him a minimum deal and sticking him in Pawtucket to see if he has anything left in the tank. Wouldn't that be something?