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No man

So, the Red Sox put Ramirez on waivers. That’s whatcha call daring and surprising. My first reaction was that it was mildly insane; if the Yankees don’t take Ramirez (and they’re the only team that can), the guy’s going to be unhappy in the Red Sox clubhouse for the rest of his contract.

But then I had my morning coffee and thought about it a little more. What if this didn’t come as a surprise to Manny? What if Theo Epstein sat down with Manny a week ago and asked him if he was serious about wanting to play for the Yankees? What if Manny sees this as the Red Sox offering him a chance to go where he wants to go?

“Manny, we’re gonna put you on waivers so that the Yankees can claim you. We know you’re interested in playing there, and we don’t want to stand in your way. We can’t make a trade with them — they wouldn’t give up anything we want — but we’d rather you go someplace you’re happy even if we don’t get anything in return.”

In that scenario, it’s OK if the Yankees don’t bite. It shows Manny that the Yankees don’t want him, hopefully diluting his interest in going there. It tells Manny that his current employers have his best interests at heart and are willing to take a risk in order to give him what he wants.

And, of course, if the Yankees do bite then they’re saddled with a huge contract and the Red Sox have the freedom to go after whatever big name they like. So it’s a win for the Red Sox either way.

More commentary here, here, here, here, and here.

4 Comments

  1. Think the Red Sox are determined to come back next season and contend for a World Series. Looks like it

  2. I don’t think it’s quite as notorious as it might seem. The Yankees would be hard pressed to put Ramirez in left as they have Matsui and now, probably Bernie Williams needing a position over there. It just doesn’t seem feasible. What *does* seem feasible if Manny really wants to play “back home” is that he ends up at Shea. Although they aren’t looking to drop any money. Who knows. I’m not sure he’ll end up in the Bronx. I’d hope for a trade.

  3. Yeah, it’s kind of unclear to me why the Yankees would want Ramirez, but there’s always the chance Steinbrenner will do something hugely foolhardy.

    Of course, the leak vastly diminishes the chances of that, since he’s gotta be reading the same media coverage we’re reading. I bet it really irritates him that everyone thinks Epstein is smarter than he is.

    Super duper bonus conspiracy theory: the Red Sox leaked the news in order to dissuade the Yankees from grabbing Manny.

  4. Kirby Krueger Kirby Krueger

    It’s a pretty savvy move, par for the course for Epstein.

    There’s no doubt that Manny is a damn fine hitter. But he’s becoming more fragile, and is increasingly suited to being a full-time DH. And, Boston has _plenty_ of offense to spare. I’m sure Epstein could spend the Manny Money for more marginal wins better – Millwood and Foulke, maybe?

    I bet someone takes him, and I’ll go out on a limb and suspect it’s not going to be the Yankees who get him. His contract is high, but not absurd, and there’s a lot of teams who really desperately need an MVP-caliber hitter. I think this is a test of the new Los Angeles GM – they have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, and an offense that was outscored by the Tigers. I think that if they claim Manny, they play October Baseball. And that’s worth it.

    I bet that Billy Beane is begging the owners for the cash, but isn’t going to get it.

    What an _interesting_ move.

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