Thank you Major League Baseball, for coming together and producing the best trade deadline since 2004. This one featured some huge names swapping teams: Ken Griffey Jr., Ivan Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Manny Ramirez.
There were a few different forces at work this July. The past few trade deadlines have been pretty uneventful, probably because there are so many more contenders now than there were back in the day. But this year, in spite of the fact that there are more contenders than ever, teams have gotten a bit creative. When the Tigers and Yankees swapped Pudge Rodriguez for Kyle Farnsworth yesterday, we saw two contenders in the same league hook up to help each other out.
Of course, the most interesting piece of drama today centered around Manny Ramirez. It’s still a little bit surreal that he’s officially a Dodger. A week ago, I still thought this trade deadline would blow over, the Red Sox would say how much they need Manny’s bat and he’d say how happy he is to be in Boston. But this year, the Manny vs. Sox management rhetoric escalated to a much higher level than it ever has in the past. Clearly, the Red Sox felt that this year was different than the past skirmishes. No one can possibly claim that sending Manny to the Dodgers makes the Red Sox better. Jason Bay will perform in return, but they’re still going to pay Manny’s contract, not to mention the fact that they gave up two young major leaguers on top.
In my humble opinion, I would think that the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez could get along for two more months, long enough to make another playoff run and then part ways amicably at the end of the year. They have, after all, made it work for seven years. But after reading Peter Gammons’ take on the situation, (and he is at heart a diehard Sox fan) maybe this really was a move the Sox had to make.