Report: Manny 'planning to' exercise $20 million option, stay with Dodgers

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Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Manny Ramirez “is planning to exercise” his $20 million option for 2010 rather than test the free-agent market again following a season in which he was suspended for 50 games.
Ramirez remains a headache and he’ll be 38 years old next season, but had he accumulated enough plate appearances to qualify for the season-long leaderboards his .949 OPS would have ranked seventh among all NL hitters. His adjusted OPS+ of 149 would have ranked sixth in the league and was just slightly below his career mark of 155 (which happens to be the 25th-best OPS+ in baseball history).
And while much was made of Ramirez slumping down the stretch his .838 OPS after the All-Star break still put him in the league’s top 25, including ninth-best among outfielders. Love him or hate him Ramirez is still one of the elite right-handed bats in all of baseball and the Dodgers should be happy to welcome him back on what is essentially a one-year, $20 million deal.
Replacing his production would have meant either giving up tons of value in a trade or handing out a huge long-term contract to a free agent like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. Compared to either of those options another season of Manny makes a lot of sense for a Dodgers team that went 59-40 (.600) with Ramirez in the lineup this year. He has until five days after the World Series to make his decision official.

Report: Athletics to acquire Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.

Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.