The latest Manny rumor making the rounds comes courtesy of commenter Wild Bill from the Orioles Hangout Forum. As far as Bill’s track record, I can direct you to a thread over at Sons of Sam Horn. According to the poster:
"There are three reputed "insiders" [at Orioles Hangout] and all three seem to agree that the trade has been agreed upon in principal but that Manny’s request for an extension will likely cause the deal to fall through. As for their validity, it seems each does have a source either within the Orioles organization or one who is once removed from someone inside.
That said, I don’t believe any of them have access to Mike Flanigan or any direct decision maker. The only thing that makes me feel this could be accurate is the fact that all three agree. Generally, they tend to have slightly different takes on the goings on inside the Orioles’ FO."
Here’s the main point of Wild Bill’s post:
"The word is the Tejada-Ramirez/Clement trade has been agreed to in principle by the two teams blocked only at this time with last minute complications caused by Manny."
Using 2005 WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) values, the net gain for the Red Sox would be -3.6 wins. Meaning that in a vacuum, this trade makes the team worse. Of course, the move would free up significant salary for the Sox (I haven’t heard whether money would change hands) so the team would probably make up the difference in value somewhere else.
Manny Ramirez is on the hook for $58MM over the next three seasons. Matt Clement will make $19MM over the next two seasons. Miguel Tejada is owed $48MM over the next four seasons. For the 2006 season only, this trade would free up $18.5MM for the Red Sox.
I’ll supply more updates on this trade possibility as I hear them.