Manny Ramirez has been asking for trades on and off every year since coming to the Red Sox, but now it’s for real. The Red Sox really want to trade him, but they probably won’t find a buyer, according to my sources and other sources.
The Sox couldn’t trade him in his prime, so they won’t be able to trade him now. He has been on the decline the past few years, failing to hit 40 home runs since 2005 or 100 RBIs since 2006. This season, he has 19 home runs and 63 RBIs.
The few teams that could trade for him are the Diamondbacks, Mets, and Phillies, but even if he doesn’t get dealt, he will be a free agent at the end of the year because the Red Sox have no plans to extend his option.
This would present an interesting option for Manny’s original team, the Cleveland Indians. My inside sources tell me the Indians might be interested in signing him.
Indians owner Larry Dolan has taken heat from Indians fans for not spending enough, but my source noted that Dolan has had a track record of spending big money on good young players. Dolan did spend $57 million over four years on Travis Hafner in his 2007 renegotiation.
At the end of this season, with the contracts of C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, Paul Byrd, and Jason Michaels off the books, the Indians will have about $20 million available to spend. With the Indian’s disappointment this year and their lack of offensive production, the front office is feeling pressure to do something.
If they can sign Ramirez for two years for $15-16 million a year, they might go for it.
While Ramirez is a big name, don’t expect too much fanfare to be made about him in free agency. There’s a lot of teams that wouldn’t want him, my source said, and he’s not as good as was a few years ago, anyway.
That said, the Yankees seem to be interested in everybody, and wouldn’t that be a good place for Manny to go to stick it to the Red Sox?