We’re not sure where Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford will end up just yet, but most of us can agree that both will likely cross the $100 million threshold. As for the future of Manny Ramirez, you’ll get a different take from just about everybody.
One day after suggesting that Ramirez may have to accept a base salary of $800,000 with incentives, Buster Olney of ESPN.com sought opinions from a host of talent evaluators, scouts, executives and general managers. Here’s what one “NL evaluator” had to say:
“I could see him getting $2-3 million base with incentives that could earn him between $5-10 million. The other thing is, this is a guy who is so obstinate and kooky, he may decide if he doesn’t get the deal he likes he just won’t play.”
If a bunch of teams are only offering him $800,000 guaranteed, I wouldn’t blame him. The thing is, it would be their loss. Sure, Ramirez turns 39 next May, was hurt an awful lot this past season and his bat looked pretty slow during his time with the White Sox, but he still managed to hit .298/.409/.460 with an 870 OPS. Not too shabby.
Considering that the average American League DH hit a modest .252/.332/.426 in 2010, Ramirez looks like a potential bargain, even in the midst of his decline.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.