The Wind Up: Manny Goes to Japan

Manny Japan MLB Dingers

Welcome back, friends! The Wind Up has been on a vacation of sorts since the end of November, but no longer. How is MLB’s offseason treating you? Did your team get everything you wanted them to over the holidays? Did you make a resolution to not get mad online about your baseball team this year? All of this is important. All of this is leading somewhere.

Okay, maybe not. But surely something is happening, right? Well…

Somebody Sign José Bautista Already

There hasn’t been much chatter surrounding Joey Bats lately. It doesn’t seem like he’s returning to Toronto. It’s all but guaranteed at this point that he’s not getting longer than a one-year deal, wherever he signs. And if he’s expecting a deal worth more than the qualifying offer ($17.2 million), he can forget about it.

Maybe he can forget about signing with a contender, too. Most recently it is the Minnesota Twins who appear interested in his services. Coming off a 103-loss season, signing Bautista would certainly generate some interest among the fans. As for contenders still in the market, most of them look to be in pretty good shape as we head through January.

Maybe he should have taken that qualifying offer. Best-case scenario if the Twins—or a team like the Phillies—sign him? Good old fashioned production ahead of next season’s trade deadline. But based on his 2016 campaign, that Joey Bats may very well be a thing of the past.

Nobody Wants Dingers, Apparently

Mark Trumbo led the American League with 47 home runs in 2016. Chris Carter tied with Colorado’s Nolan Arenado atop the National League with 41 dingers of his own. Trumbo had a qualifying offer extended to him, Carter did not. We’re nearing the middle of January, and both are still free agents.

It had been reported that Trumbo’s camp had wanted between $75-80 million back in December. I’d bet the house I don’t own that this isn’t going to happen. Meanwhile, there was a moment in time when Brewers fans were terrified at the thought of Chris Carter getting paid roughly $10 million to only hit home runs. Imagine being that cheap. Suffice to say, that’s probably not going to happen either. Instead they opted for a cheaper alternative in Eric Thames, who hasn’t seen Major League pitching since 2012.

Come on, Colorado; you already made very little sense by signing Ian Desmond. Keep the party going. Bring Trumbo or Carter in, too. Hell, why not both? Give us that 400 home run season we’ve been dreaming of.

Manny Just Wants To Play Baseball

Manny Ramirez turns 45 in May and hasn’t played professional baseball since a 2014 stint in Triple-A Iowa (Cubs), where he slashed just .223/.275/.375 over 77 plate appearances. In fact, he’s been coaching with the Cubs since February of 2015. But no longer. Manny is coming back to play baseball again, just not in the majors.

Instead, he’ll be playing for Japan’s Kochi Fighting Dogs. So, what can we expect? For what it’s worth (admittedly not much), back in 2013 Manny finished with a .352 batting average and eight home runs while playing with the EDA Rhinos of Chines Professional Baseball in Taiwan. While big numbers would bring a smile to my face, I’ll just take solace in the simple fact that Manny is 44 years old and still wants to play baseball. That it doesn’t matter to him where that is. Yes he cheated during his career and got caught. Multiple times. We get it, really. Who cares? Just let the man play baseball.

And hopefully soon, we’ll have more to report on. In the meantime, for the rest of the week we’ll be focusing on deals that already happened. See you next time.

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