The baseball trade deadline is 4 p.m. this Thursday, July 31st.
So with a little more than 48 hours left, the biggest question is whether the Red Sox will deal the talented but temperamental Manny Ramirez. Manny is in the final year of his 8-year contract with the Sox. The club does have options it can pick up on him in 2009 and 2010. However, his recent behavior has been troubling. He missed a game last Wednesday against Seattle because of a bad knee and missed a second game on Friday against the Yankees ostensibly due to the same injury. He pulled himself out of the lineup during the second game at the last minute. The Sox ordered Ramirez to undergo an MRI which turned up negative. This is on top of his slapping teammate Kevin Youkilis in the dugout during a game in Boston last June as well as his physical assault of 65-year-old Red Sox Travelling Secretary Jack McCormick. Manny has also made critical statements about the team which have drawn the ire of Red Sox principal owner John Henry.
Given the expense of his contract, the Sox will most likely hold onto Manny for the season and then not exercise their option for 2009.
But if they are planning to trade him this is what I see happening.
The Boston Red Sox could trade Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who desperately need a power hitter. The Dodgers would send two or three prospects to the Seattle Mariners (i.e. Ivan DeJesus, Jr, Rob Bell, Scott Elbert and maybe even Clay Kershaw). The Mariners would send outfielder Raul Ibanez to the Red Sox.
This would be a win-win-win. The Dodgers, as mentioned, get a bonafide power hitter. Manny hit his 20th homerun last night. Matt Kemp is leading the Dodgers with 12 homeruns. The Dodgers are currently a game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West and such a trade could put them over the top. The last place Mariners would get top prospects around whom they can rebuild their organization. The Red Sox would get a productive hitting outfielder who won't be a problem in the clubhouse.
However, like most things, trades are easier said than done. But I thought I would put out such a scenario in the unlikely event it should come to pass and in the even unlikelier event I should be called clairvoyant.