What’s the right price for Manny Ramirez?

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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.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.