Ramirez to Dodgers, Bay to Boston in deadline deal
BOSTON ” Manny Ramirez is headed to Hollywood.
The Red Sox finally parted ways with their disgruntled slugger, sending him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a startling, three-team trade Thursday that brought Jason Bay to Boston.
Pittsburgh gave up Bay and wound up with four young players. The deal was completed just before the 4 p.m. EDT deadline for making trades without waivers.
As of early Thursday, it appeared Ramirez might be on his way to the Florida Marlins. But when those talks fizzled, the Red Sox and Pirates found a willing third partner in the Dodgers.
“When a player like Manny becomes available, I don’t think there’s a manager in baseball who wouldn’t say they’re interested,” said Dodgers skipper Joe Torre, whose Yankees teams went toe-to-toe with Ramirez for years. “It was something that happened very quickly, obviously.”
Foxsports.com and SI.com reported the trade.
Ramirez, the MVP of the 2004 World Series, remains one of baseball’s best hitters and has enjoyed plenty of big moments in October. But his relationship with the Red Sox soured ” again ” in recent months, prompting the All-Star outfielder to agree to the deal.
And now, Manny can be Manny on the West Coast.
Even before landing the enigmatic Ramirez, Los Angeles had a crowded outfield. Torre has been juggling Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre.
“You wish you had the DH,” Torre said. “We didn’t plan in advance how to move things around.”
The Dodgers began the day one game behind first-place Arizona in the NL West, and were seeking a big bat. Boston, in the middle of the AL East race and chasing a second straight World Series title, wanted a productive hitter in return and got that in Bay.
At 29, Bay is a two-time All-Star and was hitting .282 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs. Tampa Bay pursued Bay before he wound up with the Red Sox, who trail the first-place Rays by three games in the AL East.
The last-place Pirates, looking for young talent, gave up their star outfielder and got reliever Craig Hansen and outfielder Brandon Moss from Boston and third baseman Andy LaRoche and pitcher Bryan Morris from the Dodgers.
LaRoche, Moss and Hansen will join Pittsburgh, while Morris will go to Class A Hickory.
Ramirez hit his 500th home run this season. He became the second big star to be traded Thursday ” Ken Griffey Jr., who hit No. 600 this year, went from Cincinnati to the Chicago White Sox.
The 36-year-old Ramirez was hitting .299 with a team-leading 20 homers and 68 RBIs for Boston. He is one of just eight players to hit at least 20 homers in 14 consecutive seasons.
Ramirez is in the final guaranteed season of an eight-year, $160 million contract. It also contains club options at $20 million each for 2009 and 2110.
On Wednesday, Ramirez criticized his team, telling ESPNdeportes: “The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me.”
“During my years here I’ve seen how they have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them,” he said.
The often contentious relationship between Ramirez and the Red Sox included him requesting trades after the 2005 and 2006 season.
Earlier this season, Ramirez knocked down team traveling secretary Jack McCormick in the visitors’ clubhouse before a game in Houston when he asked for tickets, the Providence Journal reported.
And Ramirez told the Boston Herald during the All-Star break he wanted to know what his situation was and he didn’t want the club to “tell you one thing and behind your back they do another thing.” Red Sox owner John Henry said he found that “personally offensive.”
The Pirates looked to the future with their acquisitions.
Hansen, a 24-year-old righty, was 1-3 with two saves and a 5.58 ERA in 32 games. A first-round draft choice in 2005, he became the first Boston player to reach majors in the year was picked.
LaRoche, the younger brother of Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche, hit .203 with two home runs and six RBIs in 27 games for the Dodgers. A power-hitting prospect at 24, he spent most of this year at Triple-A Las Vegas.
Moss, also 24, split the season between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket. He hit .295 with five doubles and two homers in 78 at-bats. Last year, he led the International League with 59 extra-base hits.
Morris, a 21-year-old righty, was 2-4 with a 3.20 ERA for Class A Great Lakes.
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