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Would You Draft Manny?

Posted By Howard Bender On February 21, 2012 @ 9:15 am In Outfielders | 3 Comments

It’s time to start bringing back all those “shriveling testicles” and “Manny being Mary” jokes again, folks, as the always enthralling Manny Ramirez has signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s and has himself, not only an invitation to spring training, but a new opportunity to return to the major leagues.  There are certainly a boatload of questions surrounding this move, but as we look into them all, the one question that I have for you is — would you draft Manny for your fantasy team?

There are more than just a few things that need to happen as you sit and ponder your decision.  There is the question of whether or not he can really make it back after all this time off and without performance enhancers helping his game.  There’s the question of playing time and roster adjustments for the A’s if he does make the team.  And then there’s the question of his suspension.  Word is that he’ll just get the 50 game suspension as opposed to the 100 game ban he deserves, but nothing has been set in stone yet.

But for fantasy owners, the real dilemma comes in the form of whether or not it makes sense for you to use up a pick, or auction dollars, to take such a risk.  Granted, the pick would be super late and the term “auction dollars” probably won’t have to be pluralized, so the overall risk isn’t that significant.  However, what serves you best — grabbing Manny and hope that when he returns from his suspension that he can bang you 15-20 homers in the second half or using your late round drafting expertise to find some other hopeful that may have some more upside in the end?

For me, the choice is clear.  Let another GM in your league have him and don’t give it a second thought.  That’s right — pass on him altogether.  There are a number of reasons telling you not to pick him up and the only reason telling you to actually draft him is “hey, maybe he comes back strong and does something productive.”  Not much of a ringing endorsement, is it?  Far too many cons outweighing the pro.

Call it being too conservative, call it erring on the side of caution, call it whatever you like.  But we won’t have a full assessment on Manny until much later in spring training — whether he’s made the team or not, and if so, what the plan moving forward will be.  By that point, most of you will have already drafted your team and those that did draft Manny will still be left twisting in the wind as he serves his suspension.

And in looking at ADP numbers (figure an ADP rank  of 300 or more), those that didn’t drink the Manny Kool-Aid will be looking at decent plug and play candidates like Jerry Sands and Scott Sizemore, quality relievers with upside such as Vinnie Pestano and David Carpenter, or even upstart rookies like Drew Pomeranz, Jacob Turner and Anthony Rizzo.  Manny is past his prime and won’t even be in a good hitting situation, be it ballpark or lineup.  It would serve your team far better to take a shot on one of these guys as opposed to him.


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