For real, this time! Or not.
First off, Buster Olney thinks that Manny could be moved this week. Maybe for a less-than-perfect package. The team that keeps coming up is the Giants, but...how? I can't imagine the Red Sox would be very interested in the Bay Area chapter of the AARP.
I've heard speculation that the Giants rumors persist because the Red Sox want to up the bidding from the Dodgers, but I haven't seen or heard any details about that deal. I'd imagine it would include either James Loney or Andre Ethier, as one of those guys would end up on the bench if Manny came to L.A. (And, of course, the Red Sox would want something of quality in return.)
A Cubs source e-mailed that Chicago has offered Matt Murton, Bob Howry, Sean Gallagher and Donald Veal, and that Felix Pie hasn't come up. That sounds like not quite enough, but if the Red Sox trade Manny, then turn around and sign J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo, the need for impact-quality major-league talent (say, Michael Young) is lessened. The same source indicates that the Mets and Braves are also interested.
Olney says, "you get the sense that the Red Sox are increasingly comfortable with the idea of moving Ramirez even if they aren't offered a perfect package in return." If that's true, it seems that the likelihood of a deal getting done is higher than ever. If Drew is ready to sign with the Red Sox, teams that want a big bat have very few options, and most of them are expensive. Manny's contract has never looked better, and if the Red Sox aren't asking for the moon, a trade looks very realistic.
By Jeff Sackmann
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