Originally posted by chill>But then the free agent frenzy began, along with the trading deadline deals (ie. Knoblauch for Milton, Guzman, & two minor leaguers), which spelled the end to team chemistry. I allege the Knoblauch trade was the beginning of the end. He had a couple good seasons with NY before becoming one of the biggest busts in history - unable to play in the field at ANY position without committing constant errors.
They did win 3 straight titles with Knoblauch and lost a possible 4 titles in 4 years with him when Rivera blew Game 7 in '01. He did score 117/120 runs, hit 17/18 home runs and stole 31/28 bases in New York his first 2 years as the lead-off hitter before he went downhill in '00. Tough to consider that a bust in any fashion. And, they haven't won since he left the top of the order. He's as much a 'Real' Yankee as Tino or Brosius or Girardi or Stanton etc. Now, did he match his 1996 year with the Twins where he recorded 199 runs produced (Runs + RBI - HR's)? No. But he had 164 and 170 his first 2 years and that is pretty good for a lead-off hitter.
No-lose scenario for Oakland. If Manny can still hit, they've signed a very valuable asset for just $500K. If he can't hit, they'll find that out in the minors when he's serving his suspension, and cut him without even paying his full salary.