Sunday, July 27, 2008

Manny being shopped, possibly to Phillies?

The Red Sox seem to finally be fed up with Manny Ramirez's antics and rumors are spreading that they are willing to trade him before the July 31st trade deadline. It's a tricky situation, though, because Manny can refuse any trade to a team he doesn't want to go to because of his 10 and 5 rights (10 years of service, the last 5 with the same team). The number one team on Manny's list that he would accept a trade to, according to The New York Post? The Phillies, who "have the best chance to trade for Ramirez because Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel has perhaps the strongest relationship with him of anyone in the majors." If he goes anywhere, Manny wants to be re-united with his old hitting coach from when he was with the Cleveland Indians.

So, Manny wants to come to Philly. Do the Phillies actually want Manny? It would take a lot, probably Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson and someone significant from the major league roster. The Phillies would also want him to sign a long term deal that would keep him in Philly if they gave up that much to get him. Plus, where does Manny play? Ramirez is a left fielder and the Phillies already have Pat Burrell in left, unless they ship Burrell to the Red Sox in the deal. You can't move Manny to right and have an outfield with both him and Burrell because that would the worst defensive outfield in the majors. Manny would be a good replacement for Burrell if Pat leaves at the end of the season as a free agent, which looks likely, so maybe the Phillies should wait and try to sign Manny after he becomes a free agent this off-season.

The final thing to consider in this situation is whether the Phillies want to put up with "Manny being Manny". There is a reason the Red Sox want to trade him: he's a pain in the ass. He's a phenomenal hitter, still one of the best in the game, but he comes with so much baggage, he would completely disrupt the Phillie clubhouse. Plus, he's 36 years old and definitely on the tail end of his career. If the Phillies sign him to a three year deal, by the end of it he would simply be a shell of his former self.

It's an interesting situation to follow because if the Phillies don't acquire him you can bet the Mets will make a strong push for Manny. The Mets are in desperate need of a corner outfield bat and Manny can supply that. If the Phillies can find a way to keep Manny under control, which seems like an impossible task, they should pull the trigger on a deal. Manny has been linked with the Phillies before, so there seems to be some interest from the team, but let's see if they are willing to risk everything to get the eccentric superstar.

Click here for an update on the rumors, including Pat Gillick's thoughts.

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