As I'm sure it's been pointed out before here, the Jays had MLB's 6th best offense last year. Offense isn't necessarily a huge problem going into next season. That fact is even more evident when you think of the upgrades they're expected to get next year at CF, 3B, 2B and maybe even 1B and C, relative to 2011. That being said, if you can improve, even marginally in some areas, why not do it.
One way to potentially improve is by taking a flyer on Manny Ramirez. Yep, here we go again with Manny... It makes for some interesting discussion, in my opinion. After jump, I'll list what I see as some of the positives of making such a move, and I'm putting up a poll. Personally, I'd enjoy seeing it happen, if anything, for the entertainment value. I seriously doubt it's going to happen though. AA had a clear opportunity to do so last season and didn't jump on it. He'll be even less inclined to do so now that it makes even less sense than last season.
-He can be very good. His career OPS is 1000 and he'd be playing in the hitter friendly RC. He won't be anywhere near his career numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if he still got on base at a decent clip. I don't think we should look at his 17 plate appearances last season and assume he's done.
-He can be even better against LH pitchers and the Jays have a need in that area. Lind and Snider have struggled mightily versus LH pitchers. If Manny can take away at bats from players that struggle, it makes sense to me. EE will supposedly get some action in LF, so it makes his versatility even more important if Manny will DH more often than not.
-He'll be cheap. He'd probably accept any major league deal. He probably just wants a chance to re-establish himself or retire with whatever dignity is possible under his circumstances. He isn't a bad deal for a team with payroll parameters such as the Jays.
-The risk is low. As mentioned, he'll come cheap. If he sucks, they release him. If he's not taking baseball seriously or causes other problems, they release him. Heck, they can even monitor him for 50 days and if they don't think he's good enough, they let him go without him even stepping foot on in the Rogers Centre.
-If he makes it back with the Jays in, say June, he's not hitting well, and the Jays are in the thick of things, they can let him go, and make another trade deadline acquisition. On the flip side, if he's hitting well, and the Jays are not in the playoff hunt, they might be able to trade him and get something decent in return.
-He's got time to get in shape. Fifty days to be exact. He's been away for a while, so he might not be in game shape. The Jays can stick him down in Dunedin for that time, and get him into game shape. I'm sure there are plenty of minor leaguers that'd be happy to throw him some BP. He's apparently a hard worker when it comes to hitting, so I could see him surprising folks.
-He wants to be here.
-If a smart GM like Andrew Friedman was willing to take a shot on him, why not AA.