Bye bye Manny?

Bye bye Manny?

Excuse the continuing digression into baseball for this breaking news:The Red Sox have taken the unprecedented step of putting Manny Ramirez on waivers. Manny is an All Star who hit over 30 home runs this past season and more than 100 RBIs, and it’s quite surprising for the Sox to do this.

On the other hand, Manny is a headcase, he’s making over $20 million this year, and the Sox still have to sign Pedro, Nomar, and Varitek. So if the question becomes which two of out Manny, Nomar, and Pedro should the Sox keep, it becomes clearer. Plus there’s the potential of using some of that money to pick up an All Star starting pitcher in the free agent market.

But, you ask, why waivers? Why not trade him? For one thing, there’s the specter of that $104 million remaining on his contract, some of which the Sox would inevtiably end up having to pay. And who would another team be willing to part with that would be worth getting? Most of the best players available are in free agency.

So where does Manny go? What team has the seemingly unlimited resources to spend? Where has Manny said he’d like to play out his career? The New York Yankees, of course. And if we can make the Yankees spend $100 million on Manny, that’s $100 million less they can spend on someone else.

And don’t forget that Manny is 31. While that’s young to mean, in baseball hitter teams he’s on the back end of his career. Most players peak sometime around 26 or 28 years old and so the Sox evidently don’t want to continue to pay big money to a declining proposition. And perhaps they think that other players like David Ortiz and Bill Mueller weren’t having fluke seasons, but have entered into new phases of their career.

And if Manny clears waivers? It should be an interesting season next year.

  • This is what Peter Gammons, probably the most knowledgeable reporter covering baseball, has to say about it. And I think he has the inside scoop.

    Manny expressed the opinion at the end of the season that he’d like to see what the trade market had to offer, especially with regard to New York. That would allow the Sox a lot of money to pick up premier players from teams cutting payroll (and a lot of teams are doing that right now).

    When the Texas Rangers approached the Sox about an A-Rod trade, the Sox said they would have to take Manny too and they balked at that.

    After that the Sox offered to let Manny out of his contract so he could become a free agent and he refused because the current market means he wouldn’t make half of his current salary.

    I don’t think it makes the Sox look cheap. I think it shows that the market is solidly on the side of owners and that there are a lot of options for a team like the Red Sox who are looking to improve some areas oftheir ball club. Obviously offense is an area where they are good and they need pitching. I’d lose Manny if it meant getting Curt Schilling or maybe even Greg Maddux. How about Andy Pettite?

    I also don’t think Steinbrenner will bite on Manny. Even he has his limits, especially since he has a lot of wholes to fill (like Clemens) and players to re-sign (such as Pettite and David Wells).

  • Not surprising, the Yankees have “no interest” in Manny (yet).

    I’d say its better for the Yanks that the Sox are stuck with him, and have to make the hard choices concerning their other stars.

    Then the Yanks could p/u a Pedro or a Nomar (how ‘bout 3rd base), or other, and leave the Sox Stux.