Revisiting The Manny Ramirez, Jason Bay Trade

It's been nearly 20 months since the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Pirates completed the three-team blockbuster that sent Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles, Jason Bay to Boston, and four prospects to Pittsburgh. Alex Speier of spoke to Pirates' GM Neal Huntington about the trade, who noted that the book is still out on their end of the deal. 

Here are the highlights, but the whole article is well worth the read…

  • Huntington suggests the Pirates now believe that they had a better offer on the table for Bay than the one they ultimately accepted, though it's not fair to look back using hindsight. The Marlins and Rays were both rumored to be interested at the time. 
  • He also recognizes that he might have received a better package if he waited until the offseason to deal Bay.
  • If the deal had not been made, the Red Sox were unsure about how to proceed with Manny's $20MM club option for 2009, and it was unclear if they would have been willing to risk offering him arbitration to recoup draft pick compensation.
  • They were, however, confident in offering Jason Bay arbitration at the time of the trade.
  • Meanwhile, the two players Pittsburgh received from Boston haven't delivered as expected. Brandon Moss is out of options, and might be put through waivers after hitting .232/.300/.381 since the trade, while Craig Hansen apparently went unclaimed after being designated for assignment. Both players have dealt with injuries.
  • Huntington says that if Andy LaRoche's power comes on, it would be a good trade for them since they acquired six years of him for a year and a half of Bay. If Bryan Morris develops into a middle of the rotation starter, he would consider it a great deal.

30 Responses to Revisiting The Manny Ramirez, Jason Bay Trade Leave a Reply

  1. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    If I remember correctly, the Pirates had a chance to get Mike Stanton and Jeremy Hermida from the Marlins, but I thought that Manny was the one who didn’t want to be traded to the Marlins. I don’t remember what the Rays offered, but I know that the Pirates wanted something like Hellickson and Brignac. Although Moss and Hansen have pretty much busted, I think that acquiring Andy LaRoche was good and if Bryan Morris can turn into anything serviceable, then it will be a pretty good trade.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      No, the Pirates wanted Stanton but the Marlins wouldnt add him into the deal. Hermid was going to be part of the deal though.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      11:34am: A deal hasn’t been reached, though Manny has consented to a Florida trade. Jon Heyman considers this a major hurdle cleared.

      9:22am: ESPN’s Jayson Stark’s source has this at 50-50. The Pirates are insisting on Stanton but the Marlins don’t want to give him up. Grabow coud end up in Florida rather than Boston. Tucker is in play but not a lock to be moved.

      link to

      • dizzle4 5 years ago

        Wow, imagine this:

        11:29am: Will Carroll has an update. The Pirates could back out Bay talks entirely if they don’t get what they want. The Red Sox will continue shopping Manny regardless, with the Dodgers and a mystery team in the mix. The Dodgers might be willing to part with Matt Kemp.

        Imagine if they dealt Kemp for Manny straight-up. That would have turned out massively well for the Red Sox, even if they took a bit of a hit in 2008.

  2. The Braves were close to making a deal for Bay too, supposedly they were in the process of printing his name and number on a jersey when the Pirates’ owner stepped in and nixed the deal because the Pirates weren’t getting enough.

    • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

      I remember that, but I don’t think that deal was a particularly good one, it had more quantity than quality.

      • It wasn’t that good of a package at all. I was surprised when I read about it after the fact because of how little talent the Braves were giving up.

  3. dizzle4 5 years ago

    The Pirates reportedly asked for Shaun Marcum and Travis Snider from the Jays. Maybe if they didn’t make insane demands to all the teams out there, they may have gotten something a little more valuable than what they ended up with.

    • Next to Manny, Bay was the best hitter on the trade market that year. Unlike Manny, he also had another full year on his contract. He was a valuable piece that a lot of teams were looking for to get over the top into the playoffs. It’s not necessarily about who the better player is, it’s about how badly the other team wants your guy.

      At any rate, at the time it looked like a great deal for the Pirates. Every player involved either was at that time or was at one time a highly regarded prospect. Andy LaRoche spent a number of years leading LA’s prospect lists, which is saying a lot considering he was in the company of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. Bryan Morris was young and had put together a very impressive minor league career with high strikeout totals to that point. Craig Hanson was a former top relief prospect that many suspected had just been rushed to the Majors. I still believe he could have had a successful 2009 if it weren’t for his season-ending injury. Brandon Moss wasn’t going to be much more than a fourth OF.

      Obviously, the trade didn’t entirely pan out as expected for the Pirates, but you can’t use hindsight to judge. At the time the deal was made, a lot of people around baseball were talking about the great haul they got.

  4. The package looks bad now. The Red Sox actually made out pretty well. The Pirates got shafted with Hanson and Moss. Does anyone know exactly what the Ryas and Braves offered?

    • BLZR 5 years ago

      The Braves deal reportedly included Jeff Locke and Brandon Jones, who both ended up on the Pirates anyway, along with Brent Lillibridge and Concepcion Rodriguez. That’s most likely not the deal that Huntington liked better.

      It was hard to figure out what the Rays were offering, as depending on who you asked they had about 20 different prospects who were “off limits”. At one point reported that a deal was done and it was Bay for Brignac and Niemann. Depending on who you asked either the Pirates wanted someone instead of Niemann or the Rays wouldn’t give up Brignac.

  5. goober21 5 years ago

    Bucs had a chance at Cliff Lee, Franklin Guittierrez, and Kelly Shoppach for Bay and Ronny Paulino. Hindsight’s 20/20…

    • BeatEmBucs 5 years ago

      Cliff Lee was coming off of a 5-8 season where at one point he was sent to the minors. Yea, hindsight is 20-20, but Huntington would have been crucified if he made that deal then…no one would have pulled the trigger on that deal.

  6. BeatEmBucs 5 years ago

    Moss is the scapegoat in Pittsburgh when it comes to the Bay trade. He hasn’t performed well, no, but I never felt that he was handled that well by Russell. In the early part of 2009, before Garrett Jones arrived in Pittsburgh, it always seemed to me that when Moss needed to be in the lineup every day, and when he would finally heat up, Russell would inevitably sit him for a couple games on several occasions. I, personally, wasn’t one to give up on Moss, but it’s hard to argue with an 0-22 start in spring training and the OF seems to be held down for the time being.

    LaRoche’s bat doesn’t profile very well at 3B. Luckily, that won’t be a concern by June, but I still feel like if the Pirates end up trading Iwamura (I’d love to see an extension) and they plug in LaRoche at 2B (although, Delwyn Young looks like the 2nd option at that position after a great spring) then his bat doesn’t look so bad. He never was able to develop the power at the major league level that he showed in the minors, but 12 HRs, .401 SLG and good, underrated defense isn’t too bad for a 2B. Make or break year for him.

    Hansen effed up his neck or something like that. I can’t remember what it was exactly, something like nerve damage in his neck (someone correct me if I’m way off) and at one point was considered career threatening. It’s not like he was good before, but really what are you gonna do? He’s still with the Bucs, starting the year on the DL, maybe he’ll still be worth something one day.

    Morris is the darkhorse. I expect a good bounce back year from him. He came on strong at the end of last season and was the winning pitcher in the Hi-A “World Series” clinching game. It’s cliche, sure, but he recently said that, “This year is a very important year, especially coming off last year. [My] confidence level is sky high because I feel like I can make the pitches I couldn’t make last year. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting. I’m ready to go.”

  7. JasonV27 5 years ago

    it was good trade for all sides except the Pirates…Bay was great for the Sox AND Manny found his ideal home in LA…it killed the sox because they lost the power bat in manny and on his way to LA its seems like he took Ortiz’s bat also with him lol…but a solid trade none the less…it would have been great had the sox kept bay this year but who knows. next year there are some solid free agents and I think the idea with Cameron, Ellsbury, and Hermida is a great idea for a 1 year thing.

    • kjodon7 5 years ago

      The trade hardly “killed the Sox” considering Bay outproduced Manny from that point until the end of his time in Boston.

  8. aap212 5 years ago

    Supposedly the Rays would have sent Niemann and Brignac for Bay. That might not hold a ton of upside, but it’s better than what Pittsburgh ended up getting.

    • bigpat 5 years ago

      I was actually pulling hard for them to make that deal with the Rays. I’ve always liked Niemann even though he wasn’t their top prospect, and while I’m not a huge Brignac fan, he should project as an everyday shortstop who is solid but unspectacular.

  9. bigpat 5 years ago

    I was fine with Bay leaving, but I thought this trade was horrible from the start. Bay was one of the only players on the team who was highly regarded around the league and they should have gotten a lot more for him. Andy LaRoche can still turn out to be an average everyday player but that isn’t enough.

    It’s weird that they seemed to get more from the Nady/Marte deal when Bay was a far superior player. I felt like the Bay deal was almost forced because it happened right at the deadline if I recall correctly.

  10. sackseph 5 years ago

    I think the idea with Cameron, Ellsbury, and Hermida is a great idea for a 1 year thing.


  11. $1574266 5 years ago

    It was a bad trade from the beginning. Moss is a flat out bum. Hansen was a washed up prospect. LaRoche isn’t that good. Morris better turn out to be a decent pitcher, because if not that trade was terrible. Hell, it alreay is terrible. I wish they would have gotten Manny Del Carmen and Jed Lowrie. That would have been good. I have agreed with every trade that NH has made and thought they where all good trades except the Bay deal.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      “I wish they would have gotten Manny Del Carmen and Jed Lowrie. That would have been good”

      It might have been a step up, but I wouldnt label that return as ‘good’ either.

      • $1574266 5 years ago

        Why would it not be good? They would have had a solid late inning reliever who scouts say could be a closer in the NL and a shortstop who actually deserves to be in the majors. Cedeno shouldn’t even be a AAA SS, let alone in the MLB. And the same goes for Crosby. Plus, when Chase D’Arnaud is ready in a year or 2, Lowrie could shift to 2nd. Ah what could have been.

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          “scouts say could be a closer in the NL”- just because Gammons labels every Red Sox reliever as a “closer of the future” doesnt mean its true. Plus he hit his first year of arbitration this year, so even long term its not a good move for a rebuilding club.

          While Lowrie may be better than Cedeno, he’s not some star of the future. Plus he cant get that wrist issue healthy either, if he was in the trade and was out for all of 2009 you’d complain that you’d want player X over injury prone Lowrie

          • $1574266 5 years ago

            For one I never heard Gammons say that and I don’t put to much stock in what analysts say. See unlike you and most people I have my opinions. I have always been a Lowrie fan.When exactly did I say he would be a star? He is a solid player. And you can’t say that if he was traded he would have hurt his wrist. Just because he did it in Boston doesn’t mean he would have done it in Pittsburgh.

          • Zack23 5 years ago

            Then where have you seen scouts say Delcarmen could be a closer in the NL? Because that is the EXACT phrase Gammons said last year.

          • $1574266 5 years ago

            I honestly don’t remember and like I said, it was SCOUTS who said it, not Gammons.

          • $1574266 5 years ago

            For one I never heard Gammons say that and I don’t put to much stock in what analysts say. See unlike you and most people I have my opinions. I have always been a Lowrie fan.When exactly did I say he would be a star? He is a solid player. And you can’t say that if he was traded he would have hurt his wrist. Just because he did it in Boston doesn’t mean he would have done it in Pittsburgh.

  12. YARRitsBLAKE 6 months ago

    Looking back on this, all I gotta say is, what a crazy deal. Looking at how it turned out I gotta feel bad for the Pirates since Brandon Moss didn’t really amount to anything for them. And Jason Bay performed decently for Boston for that year and a half, but then just fell off the map completely. LaRoche didn’t amount to anything, same with Hansen, and Morris has turned into a decent reliever, though FIP and xFIP really do not like him at all. Manny Ramirez was definitely good for the Blue over those couple years. What an interesting trade overall. Just goes to show that prospects don’t always turn out the way you think they will. I remember when Morris and LaRoche were highly touted in the Dodgers’ system, and now only one is a serviceable major leaguer.

  13. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    So that you have another opportunity to clumsily say something bad about the Red Sox.

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