Monday, October 09, 2006

Manny for A-Rod?

Ken emailed me and asked me about the potential for a Manny Ramirez for Alex Rodriguez trade and the question got me thinking.

I'll first give my thoughts on a potential Manny for A-Rod trade but then I'll look at the underlying question of whether Manny or A-Rod would be traded in the first place.

I don't see a Manny for A-Rod trade happening because Manny does not fill a need for the Yankees. They have Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu and Melky Cabrera under contract for outfielders and Jason Giambi under contract at DH. Where would Manny fit in? To make the deal work it would have to be a 2-2 deal - say Mike Lowell and Manny for A-Rod and Melky Cabrera (or Bobby Abreu). That deal would be too complicated to make plus this all hinges on the assumption that the Yankees would deal with the Red Sox in the first place.

I just don't see the Yankees and Red Sox directly swapping stars but that doesn't rule out a three team trade such as Manny going to the Orioles, Miguel Tejada going to the Yankees and A-Rod going to the Red Sox. Since this scenario depends on all three players waiving no-trade provisions and Tejada agreeing to move positions - I don't see it happening.

Now we get to the question of whether the Yankees will trade A-Rod or if the Red Sox will trade Manny.

A-Rod would be best served by being out of NYC but if he did agree to be traded his career would always be dogged by the "can't handle the heat" label. My guess is that he won't agree to be traded and will be in Yankee camp come spring. If he did agree to be traded - the Yankees would have Aramis Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra available as replacements at 3rd base or they could trade A-Rod for a top 3rd baseman (but why would a team trade for A-Rod if they already have a top 3rd baseman?).

I think the Angels or Cubs (if Aramis Ramirez opts for free agentcy) would be the most likely trade partners for A-Rod if a trade is truly a possibility.

As far as Manny is concerned - I hope he's not traded. This year Manny became a 10/5 player giving him the right to veto any trade. Maybe the only two teams that could both afford the contract and give back talent to the Sox would be the Mets and the Angels. I think the front office wouldn't goof and make a trade with the Mets that included Lastings Milledge who just can't handle Fenway Park. Another possibility would be a Manny for Tejada swap but I don't see that playing out (plus I would hate to be put into the position of rooting for Tejada who I think is a steroids guy).

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