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We Got Manny

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Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Dodgers have received Manny Ramirez in a three team swap that will have the Dodgers sending Andy LaRoche and A ball pitcher Bryan Morris to the Pirates. The Dodgers have canceled Ramirez's options for the next two years.

I'm gonna have to think about how I feel about this.

The one thing I do know: we have one of the worst defenses in the league now. Time to sell Lowe in your fantasy leagues.

Update>>Boston will pay Manny's salary.

Initial thought 2>>We'd better win it all this year. We now have five positions that need to be filled in 2009 and nowhere near enough money to buy our way out of them. Compare our 2008 team to the 2009 team.

CF Kemp
RF Ethier
LF Manny
2B Kent
C Martin
3B Blake
1B Loney
SS Someone

SP Billingsley
SP Lowe
SP Kuroda
SP Kershaw
SP Johnson

Pretty fearsome, right? Well here's what we have going into next year.

RF Kemp
LF Ethier
C Martin
1B Loney
CF Jones
3B DeWitt?
SS Hu?
2B DeJesus?

SP Billingsley
SP Penny
SP Kuroda
SP Kershaw
SP McDonald?

We've probably got around 30 million to fix some of those holes, so we can bring in probably two truly useful players. That leaves at least three giant holes in the lineup. If we don't make the playoffs this year, this might be franchise ruining.

I probably shouldn't be this focused on the negative, we did just get a huge jumpstart to our offense.

Thought three>>This basically turns the race with the Diamondbacks into a coin flip. Coming into this game, the Diamondbacks were two games better according to third order win percentage. If we replace Juan Pierre with Manny, we're turning a guy with a 2.2 VORP and was three plays above average on defense into a guy who had a 37 VORP and was -15 plays on defense.

Earlier this year, I figured out that a play made by a middle infielder was worth .789 runs, but this was possible because I could assume any play a a middle infielder missed would turn into a single. This isn't as easy for an outfielder, any play missed could turn into any number of bases. I can't figure out the exact number, so I'm going to have to estimate with no real math behind it. For now, I'm going to assume that a missed play by an outfielder is worth .8 to one run. This means that if Pierre and Manny continue to produce at their current rates, Pierre would be worth somewhere from 2.3 to 2.6 runs, and Manny will be worth somewhere between 11 and 12 runs. So the difference between Manny and Pierre is in the neighborhood of eight or nine runs, or almost a wins worth.

Once you account for Manny's win, the Dodgers are one game behind the Diamondbacks from a true talent level stand point. Prior to this one game upgrade, the Diamondbacks had a 60% shot at winning the division, versus 35% for the Dodgers. I sadly can't do the exact math, but if this switches it to a 45/50 split for the playoffs, we gave up LaRoche and Morris for an additional 23% or so shot at making the playoffs. Was that worth giving us an additional hole to fill this offseason? Honestly I don't know. I know that seeing my favorite player get traded for the fourth time in my life sucks a lot, so from my perspective I don't like the move all that much.

Really, this trade's going to be judged in hindsight. If the Dodgers barely squeak into the playoffs, it will be seen as a great move. If we miss them, it's going to really hurt us next year.