Thursday, July 31, 2008
Well, well, well. It's not often that I immediately piggyback posts like this, but then again, it's not often that a sure fire Hall of Famer pouts his way out of town either. So at the risk of making everything else I wrote this week virtually irrelevant, I give you the breakdown of the Manny Ramirez trade, in all it's sketchy glory...
First and foremost (and I know this will make a lot of you feel good inside), I was dead wrong about Manny's future in Boston. And just when I was enjoying my high about being so on the money about Teixeira too. Damn! Part of me said he was gonna stay through this year and next simply because I had always been wrong about him before, but to be completely honest, I was totally shocked when the news came down at 4 yesterday afternoon that he had been dealt. But before I get down to who won, who lost, and why this thing went down, here's the brass tacks of the deal that saw Boston's greatest right handed slugger pack up his act and head to the West Coast...
OF Jason Bay
29 years old (turns 30 on September 20)
2008 stats: .282 / 22 HR / 64 RBI / 23 2B / 7 SB
Career stats (6 seasons): .281 / 140 HR / 454 RBI / 152 2B / 50 SB
-Bay has done well for himself in a weak Pirate lineup, and should be better protected in Boston. On the flip side of that coin, he was also facing National League pitching, so you're probably better off expecting more or less the production that he's put up while in Pittsburgh. Defensively he should be OK. One plus for Jason is his affordability, as he only makes $7.5 million next year, but he too is a Scott Boras client, which should make him difficult to resign at the end of '09...
RHP Craig Hansen
24 years old
2008 stats: 1-3 / 2 SV / 30.2 IP / 5.58 ERA
OF Brandon Moss
24 years old
2008 stats: .295 / 2 HR / 11 RBI / 5 2B / 34 games
-These two youngsters are more or less still an enigma to anyone, but should be given a chance to prove themselves in the 'Burgh. A lot of people project Moss as a solid OF in the David Murphy (who went to Texas in the Gagne deal), while Hansen still has the fiery fastball to go along with suspect control. If there's a pitching coach out there that can harness his talent, he could turn out to be the real steal in this deal...
From Los Angeles
3B Andy LaRoche
24 years old
2008 stats: .203 / 2 HR / 11 RBI / 1 2B / 27 games
RHP Bryan Morris
21 years old
Minor Leaguer with an above average fastball and a good curveball. Projected as at best a #3 MLB starter.
-I'd be lying if I said I knew jack about either one of these guys, but prospects are prospects. A team like Pittsburgh can use all the low budget help they can get, and in this deal they got it in spades. You know the saying, throw shit to a wall and hope some of it sticks? Not my favorite strategy, but at this point I think it's a good way to go for a small market, rebuilding job...
OF Manny Ramirez
36 years old
2008 stats: .299 / 20 HR / 68 RBI / 22 2B
Career stats: .312 / 510 HR / 1672 RBI / 493 2B
Dodgers also get the $7 million to pay Manny for this season, and the 2 first round picks that will be given to them when they offer Manny arbitration at the end of the season and he declines.
-The Dodgers get the bat they desperately needed, and better yet, they don't need to pay him a dime. Manny's a sure fire Hall of Famer, and while he can be tough to deal with at times, he should be a great addition to that clubhouse as they push for the NL West and beyond...
Soooooo I think it's safe to say I underestimated how badly Theo and the Trio wanted to get rid of Manny, huh? I mean, they basically gave this guy away, didn't they? No knock intended against Jason Bay, who's a fine player in his own rite, but adding Hansen, Moss and paying the rest of Manny's '08 salary? WOW. The more I think about it, the more I have to assume that the front office felt Manny was holding the entire team hostage. They had to think he was gonna be pulling himself in and out of the lineup, faking injuries, and causing clubhouse dissension, or else a trade this lopsided would have never taken place. That's right. in this man's opinion, the Red Team were the clear losers in this deal. Pittsburgh got better by adding prospects. The Dodgers got better by adding a big time bat. But Boston basically downgraded themselves in left field. AND they had to give up 2 dudes and $7 mil to do so. I haven't seen a move wreak of so much desperation since flopped her gut around at the '07 VMA's. Was this all an act by Manny and Boras to allow him to cash in with one final long term deal? Wouldn't put it past either one of them. But what concerns me is if that is indeed the case, the message and precedent that this sets within the Red Sox organization. And don't give me that "he wasn't a team player so I'm glad to see him go crap" either. This is a business, and in my eyes, the Sox just became a victim of letting their personal feelings get involved. They held the power with the team option, and they just let it go. That's bad business, plain and simple. Now hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he's sooo disruptive in the clubhouse that the team will be better off, but I'm just having a tough time believing that any squad is better off without his bat in the lineup. What I don't have a problem believing, is that the future of Theo Epstein could be directly tied to this deal. And Lord knows if Bay tanks it up, he's gonna be hearing it from the Nation. At the very least it's going to be very interesting from here on out, it just remains to be seen whether it will be "freak show" interesting, or "Dark Knight" interesting. Cross your finger for the ladder my friends. Or God help us all...
...and just so it's not all for nought, here's that crazy subway broad again, for your viewing and listening pleasure...
That's really it for this week. But again feel free to go back and check out how wrong I was about Manny, and many other hilarious one liners that I took the time to craft. Sure it was easy for me to do, but trust me, you'll be better off for having read it...
Posted by Brett Ferruccio at 7:16 PM