So Much Joy

With Jason Bay coming to the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez gone, we can now rid ourselves of the headache that was Manny Ramirez.  I don’t know much about Bay as a person, but this whole thing is addition by subtraction in some sense.

I have to imagine Manny’s teammates were just sick of going to battle while he took time off.  The resentment is gone (or will go) and they can now focus on playing good baseball and know that Bay will be one of them.  Add to it that Bay is no slouch and happens to be a left fielder to boot.

Friday night is Bay’s potential debut.

As for the deal itself, it looks like this based on reports:  Manny to LA (sorry Joe Torre), Jason Bay to Boston and 4 prospects to Pittsburgh.  Of those 4, two are from Boston’s system, Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss.  I’ll miss Moss a bit as he seemed to play the game the right way and showed signs of being a Major Leaguer.  Hansen’s act had grown thin and it is probably good for him to get a fresh start.

Bay a Red Sox, Manny a Dod…Who Cares

Final Update:  Jon Heyman broke this thing, Manny to the Dodgers and Jason Bay to the Red Sox.  The Pirates will get 4 minor leaguers.  I assume 4 total from the Dodgers and Red Sox.  Early reports suggest that it is Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen.

Initial Post:  Boston Globe writer Gordon Edes is reporting that Manny has been traded but offers no details.  He posted just at few minutes ago at 4:20pm.  Stay tuned.

4:31pm – Update:  Perhaps to the Dodgers per MLBTraderumors.com via SI’s Jon Heyman.

4:32pm – Update:  Now Cafardo is saying 3-team deal, Manny to Dodgers, Bay to Boston.

Framework in Place – Not Done Yet

By now we all know there is talk of a 3-way deal between the Red Sox, Pirates and Marlins.  The main players involved are Manny Ramirez, Jason Bay and Jeremy Hermida.

The Pirates wind up with Hermida

The Marlins wind up with Ramirez

The Red Sox wind up with Bay.

.299/.398/.529 – 20 HR, 68 RBI, 365 ABs- Ramirez

.282/.375/.519 – 22 HR, 64 RBI, 393 ABs – Bay

Those are their 2008 stats.  Pretty similar with Ramirez getting the edge (more production in less at bats).  But otherwise, Bay isn’t a significant downgrade based on 2008 alone.  Bay is signed through 2009 (approx $9mm in 2009) meaning the Red Sox could either work out an extension with him or let him go (most likely as a type A free agent) and get 2 picks for him.

A look at a larger sample size is a good idea, so lets take the past 5 years (2004-2008):

.303/.401/.573 – 163 HR, 532 RBI, 2419 ABs – Ramirez

.281/.374/.515 – 136 HR, 440 RBI, 2511 ABs – Bay

Again, nod to Ramirez (landslide).  But when you factor in age (Bay is 29, Ramirez is 36), and you look at Ramirez’s production last year and this, the trade is a bit more even, but certainly Ramirez is the better hitter.  Where the trade potentially swings to the Red Sox favor is defensively, a hustle standpoint and a clubhouse standpoint, all vague and near impossible things to measure to be sure but important nonetheless.

This is a no-win situation for Boston but I think their best move is to get as much as possible in a move for Ramirez.  If after taking in offers they feel they are a better team with him, so be it.  I’m glad to learn though that they are kicking the tires and if Bay indeed is an option, I’d do it.

Cashman Strikes Again

Someone has to explain to me how Cashman pulled this one off.  I mean seriously, getting anything for Hawkins is amazing and I feel sorry for the Astros’ fans out there because I have no idea what your GM is doing.

The prospect isn’t a great prospect, he ranked 29th in the Houston system (which was rated the worst in baseball) but there are doubts that he can do anything more than hit.  Hey, it doesn’t matter, this was truly something for nothing.

I would like to point out one last thing about Cashman and the Yankees.  They seem to have a fairly unique ability to make trades without anyone knowing about them ahead of time.  Think of the countless rumors you have read the past week or so and did you see any about Nady, Marte or Pudge before the trades happened?  I don’t know how they do it, but it is worth remembering.  Who knows what will happen tomorrow. 

T-Minus 19 Hours

We are less than 19 hours from the MLB non-waiver trade deadline.  After seeing the Red Sox nearly no-hit last night, I am struggling to contain my concern.

One game is obviously too small a sample size to draw any conclusions, but the Red Sox are officially flat.

Stats:  The Red Sox are 27-23 over their last 50 games.  11-15 over their last 26 and 11-12 in July.  That’s not good baseball.

If for no other reason than to inject some new blood in this team, I think Theo Epstein and co. need to make a move.  Not a move for moves sake necessarily, but to try and improve the team…at any position.

I write this while watching one of the worst Red Sox performances of the year.  They can’t pitch, can’t field and can’t hit.  They look like fools right now.  Again a one game sample size, but definitely the worst performance of the year.

Something’s got to give.

Well maybe that’s true, rumors abound that the Red Sox are speaking with the Florida Marlins about a deal sending Manny Ramirez and getting either Jeremy Hermida or Josh Willingham and prospects.  There is also talk about a 3-way deal with the Red Sox trading Ramirez and ultimately getting Jason Bay from Pittsburgh.

A good chance nothing will happen of course, but the sheer number of writers reporting rumors with Ramirez suggest to me anyway, that something could be happening.

MLBTradeRumors compiles all the rumors and has the following writers talking about a Ramirez deal:

Ken Rosenthal – Fox Sports

Gordon Edes – Boston Globe

Jayson Stark – ESPN

Joe Frisaro – MLB.com

Jim Molony – MLB.com

John Perrotto – Baseball Prospectus

Buster Olney – ESPN

Dan Graziano – NJ Star-Ledger

Will Carroll – Baseball Prospectus

That’s quite a few writers reporting on the same deal.  Volume doesn’t mean anything necessarily, but a few of these guys are well respected writers and some, well some I’ve never heard of.  Evaluating all the noise, I think I would be happy with Jason Bay for Ramirez or Josh Willingham.  I wouldn’t mind Jeremy Hermida, but he is a lefty and suddenly your 3-4-5 hitters are lefties, makes little sense.  Hermida would be great past 2008, but not a good fit for now.

For those who missed it, Manny is still pushing for a trade in his own way.  Manny talking with ESPN Deportes today.

"The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me.  During my years here, I’ve seen how they have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them.

"The Red Sox did the same with guys Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy.  I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don’t deserve me. I’m not talking about money. Mental peace has no price, and I don’t have peace here."

I’m not sure where to start.  I think the first thing to say is this.  Manny, you are a bozo.  Any chance the Red Sox knew what they were dealing with with Nomar and Pedro?  I think they are 2-2 on those non-deals.  Manny, the fans don’t like you anymore.  Sure you have your die-hards, but your act is a joke.  Fans like the Red Sox more than just the individual players.  You don’t get it and you never will.  Go away.

I think that sums things up.  I have to assume part of his rhetoric is just an act to get a deal done, but he sure is pushing my buttons.  I am happy to know that Red Sox management deals with things in a business-like manner and doesn’t get emotional (or as emotional) as I might.  Hopefully they are weighing the good and bad with any possible deal and will make the appropriate evaluations.

If I had access to the "please trade Manny" Red Button, I’d have pushed it already.  Deep breaths, keep it together….KIT.  There, that’s better.  Anyway, stay tuned, anything can happen between now and 4pm tomorrow.

Wow

Cashman is on a roll, Pudge for Farnsworth?

Farnsworth certainly improved himself this year, but losing him is no great shakes and Pudge drastically upgrades the cacthing situation.  He is a free agent at the end of this season and he is having a nice year .295/.338/.417 for a catcher and that OPS of .755 is almost .200 points above Molina plus you don’t lose any defense.

The question is who goes to the 8th inning now?  Is it Veras or Marte?  Does this mean that JB Cox or Patterson are on their way from Scranton?   

UPDATE: Girardi and Farnwsorth both cried on camera over the deal.  I have no idea what to make of that.  

A Bad Night

On the field, the Yankees woke up too late.  Off the field, the Angels just got a lot better and the Yankees have 10 games with them.  Not a good night in either aspect.

I guess the good news is that Hughes went three shutout innings in Charleston.  Some guy named Pavano pitched too, but that’s probably a typo in the box score.  In addition, Kennedy pitched very well at Scranton tonight.  Sidney Ponson is definitely on the clock. 

Keep An Eye On Charleston Tonight

Tonight will be a big night for the Yankees off the field.  Phil Hughes is taking the mound for Charleston and Chien-Ming Wang is getting his boot off.  Hughes will throw about 35 pitches in the first step towards rehab.  Assuming it goes well, he should start again next week and you could probably expect him to be back in the majors around the end of August. 

Wang will take longer, he will be on crutches until next week and then start throwing.  I wouldn’t expect him on any mound until mid-August and then it is a matter of getting back into game shape.  

I don’t think the Yankees feel a lot of pressure to deal for Washburn because they can always claim him on waivers and I don’t think many other teams would risk assuming his salary.  Remember, he would be offered to every AL team first in reverse order of the standings, so if things stay as they are, the Yankees get a shot at him before Boston. 

If Hughes shows them something tonight, it will lessen the need for a trade.  And, remember Ian Kennedy is pitching much better at AAA.  At some point the Yankees will give him another chance in the bigs, it could be very soon if Ponson bombs again.   

Names and More Names

Gammons is reporting the Red Sox are interested in Doug Brocail but are not interested in Miguel Tejada.  Further proof Red Sox management reads this site (and is greatly influenced by it).

MLBTradeRumors reports that Projo’s Sean McAdam believes the Red Sox are interested in lefty Ron Mahay.  While the Herald’s Rob Bradford says they are looking at Geoff Geary, Brian Fuentes, George Sherrill (he’d be a nice pick-up!) and Will Ohman.

So many names, so little likelihood.

 

Tejada Talk

ESPN Deportes is reporting that the Red Sox are interested in Miguel Tejada.  Giving credit where credit is due, I got this from MLBTradeRumors.

Tejada in Boston, eh?  Interesting.  Would the Red Sox trade for Tejada to play baseball or act as a Manny Ramirez babysitter?

ESPN’s Peter Gammons tore Manny apart today in his blog.  Gammons points out that Manny has decided he was hurt when it came time to face some of the toughest pitchers in baseball in 2008:

Felix Hernandez – twice

Joba Chamberlain – twice

Edison Volquez – once

Justin Verlander – once

In addition, he says Manny leaves David Ortiz to "face the heat" for him.

I guess my cynical side says this trade idea is an insurance policy.  Bring in Tejada to make sure the Red Sox don’t "lose" Manny.  Well, I don’t like it.  Tejada would cost Boston $4m this year and $13mm in 2009.  All for a player who is 2 years older than we thought and not hitting like a $13mm a year player.  His current .738 OPS is his lowest since his 2nd year in the Majors.

Manny is forcing an enhanced risk management program.

Also, can you seriously argue that Tejada is that much better than Jed Lowrie (.732 OPS) or Julio Lugo (.683 OPS).  I would say his glove would be an improvement for sure (especially over Lugo), but not much else at an enormous expense (especially in 2009).  With Tejada being mentioned heavily in the Mitchell report, that’s just makes this rumor upsetting.

It’s too bad the Red Sox have to worry if Manny will tank it the rest of the way instead of just having to focus on getting that player or players to make a deep run in the playoffs.