The New York Yankees' lineup has been tremendously improved with the addition of Mark Teixeira, but it's not at an elite level yet. If Robinson Cano can improve upon his horrid 2008 season and Johnny Damon can have another great year, this team's offense will be closer to being the best in the league. But you can't just rely on Damon to replicate his 2008 production and , who is the biggest question mark right now. They also have to count on other players, like Derek Jeter, who has been on the decline for a couple of years now. Hideki Matsui has never been a great Major League hitter and Jorge Posada is coming off of an injury and New York needs them to play well, too. If all of these players can have some of their best years -- and that's a big 'if' -- the Yankees will have the best lineup in Baseball.
Realistically, that is not likely to happen.
So the logical move is to get Manny Ramirez. Ramirez would be the perfect fit for Designated Hitter; replacing Matsui in the lineup. The combination of Ramirez, Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez would be the most feared in baseball, even if the rest of the hitter do not live up to expectations.
Without him, this Yankees lineup is excellent, but incomplete. Cano, Jeter, Damon, Matsui, and Posada have all proven that they can fall off at any time. Manny, however, would be motivated by his new, world-title contending team; causing him to play like he did in Los Angeles last year.
But New York seems set on not signing Manny. So they need to make another move to enhance the offense. The only other move that makes sense would appear to be a minor one, but could be as effective as acquiring Manny Ramirez.
Micah Owings has established himself as the best hitting pitcher in Major League Baseball. In 56 at bats, in 2008, Owings drove in 6 runs and hit 304.
In addition, he is excellent on the mound. He began the year going 4-0 in his first 4 starts, and ended April with a 3.48 ERA. He would end the year with a 1.39 WHIP.
My proposition is for the Yankees to make a deal with the Cincinnati Reds to get Micah Owings on their roster. Owings is making close to the minimum, and ended the year on a bad note, which makes him extremely accessible. New York would have him as a reliever and occasional starter, while inserting him into the lineup; either playing outfield or DH.
Owings would add another dangerous hitter to an already threatening Yankees batting order, while providing another pitching option, which is a need for any team.
To me, it's a no brainer.
If not Manny, get Micah.
--The Dodgers have offered Manny Ramirez a 2-year, 45 million dollar contract. If the Yankees want, they can easily offer him the same deal with an extra 5 million and get him.
The Yankees need Ramirez more than any other team. The Mets and Dodgers could desperately use his bat, which leads to a common misconception about those team's necessities. But even with Manny, they wouldn't be a lock for the World Series. The Yankees, however, would be in the World Series with Manny Ramirez along with Rodriguez, Teixeira and the rest of the team.
The Yankees need Manny more than any team in Major League Baseball.
UPDATE: Manny Ramirez has rejected this latest offer from the LA Dodgers. The deal had him making $25 million in the first year, and a guaranteed $20 million player option for the second year.
Looks like Boras will continue to play hardball. Hopefully, he and Ramirez will allow the Yankees, a World Series contender with Manny, to get him with a similar contract.
Either way, this situation is funny.