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Manny on waivers

Postby ramble2 » Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:33 am

fyi:
From The New York Times
Ramirez Is Put on Waivers in Bid to Shed Big Contract

By JACK CURRY

The Boston Red Sox placed outfielder Manny Ramirez on irrevocable waivers yesterday, and they are hoping that another team will claim him and enable them to shed the five years and $104 million remaining on his eight-year, $160 million contract, two major league executives said.

If a team claims Ramirez before the deadline tomorrow, it will become responsible for Ramirez's contract, and Ramirez's often turbulent three-year association with the Red Sox will end. Unlike with revocable waivers, Boston cannot pull back Ramirez if he is claimed. If no team claims Ramirez, the Red Sox will retain him but will have at least alerted other clubs that they are willing to trade him.

"It's a weird thing, to be honest with you," said one of the executives, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. "I don't know what they're thinking, other than they want to get out from under that contract."

It seems unlikely that, with only three days to decide, a team will suddenly add a $100 million wild card like Ramirez to its lineup and its budget. But the Yankees, who might pursue the free-agent outfielders Gary Sheffield or Vladimir Guerrero anyway, are one of the few teams that can take the financial hit. The Yankees also have a soothing, powerful manager, Joe Torre, who has handled moody players like Ramirez.

The Yankees did not return phone calls because they were holding organizational meetings in Tampa, Fla., but one club official said Ramirez was part of their internal discussions yesterday after they tried to decipher why he had been put on waivers. The 31-year-old Ramirez, who attended George Washington High School in Washington Heights, angered Red Sox officials this season by saying he wanted to finish his career with the Yankees.

If more than one club claims Ramirez, the club with the poorer record will have the right to him. So, if the Yankees, who tied with the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the majors this season, are interested, they will have to hope no other teams make claims.

While putting players on waivers is a formality that happens hundreds of times during the season, both executives said the timing of Boston's decision was unusual and signals that the team is serious about moving forward without Ramirez. Dan Duquette, who was dismissed as the general manager in 2002, signed Ramirez to the contract before the 2001 season. Ramirez is the second-highest-paid player in baseball, behind Alex Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers.

"I guess they're hoping someone takes him," one of the baseball executives said.

Neither Theo Epstein, Boston's general manager, nor Jeff Moorad, Ramirez's agent, returned phone calls yesterday seeking comment on the waiver move. Club officials are forbidden by Major League Baseball to talk about players who are on waivers.

Ramirez is one of the most intimidating hitters in baseball and hit .325 with 37 home runs and 104 runs batted in last season. In Ramirez's three seasons in Boston, he has hit 111 homers and driven in 336 runs in 416 games. Offense has never been a problem for Ramirez, whose career highs with the Cleveland Indians include a .351 average, 45 homers and 165 R.B.I.

But Ramirez is an introverted player, and some of his off-the-field actions may have caused the Red Sox to question whether they want him to be a part of their future. The Red Sox, who just completed their second year under new ownership, did not offer Manager Grady Little a contract for 2004 this week and are searching for his replacement. Apparently, they are also willing to subtract Ramirez and search for a new left fielder.

Ramirez missed a weekend series in Boston with the Yankees from Aug. 29 to 31 because of a sore throat, but he was seen out with the Yankees' Enrique Wilson at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston, where he resides, on that Saturday night and skipped a doctor's appointment that Sunday. When the Red Sox twice asked him to pinch-hit at Philadelphia on Sept. 1, Ramirez said he was too weak. Little benched him for one game the next day in Chicago against the White Sox.

"I'm putting the team out there that I feel has the best chance to win," Little said then.

While earning the American League wild card this year, the Red Sox set a record for total bases in a season, but they need superior pitching to be more competitive. If the Red Sox unload Ramirez's salary, the money that will be freed will allow them to pursue a free-agent starter like Bartolo Colón or Kevin Millwood.


I'd be very surprised if anyone claimed Ramirez. Of course Steinbrenner is pretty pissed off, and the Yankees are clearing quite a bit of salary this year what with Clemens, Pettitte and Wells. Hmmmmmm :-?
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Postby Jivedude » Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:35 am

Wow!!! Very interesting!!!

Manny placed on waivers: Any team claiming slugger would have to absorb salary
By Michael Silverman
Thursday, October 30, 2003

Just two days after dumping their manager, the Red Sox last night tried to reshape their team even more drastically.

Now they're trying to rid themselves of superstar Manny Ramirez.

In a bold and shocking move designed to restructure their top-heavy payroll, the Red Sox placed Ramirez and his hefty contract on irrevocable waivers.

The move is not guaranteed to work, but the Red Sox would be ecstatic if another team - and this probably includes only the moneybag Yankees - decides before tomorrow night at midnight to pick up the remaining $100 million-plus remaining in Ramirez' massive contract, which runs for another five seasons and includes two options for 2009 and 2010.

If no team bites, Ramirez, 30, will remain a Red Sox, but the club will no longer be able to privately conceal its extreme reluctance to devote so much of its $100 million payroll to a ballplayer who it feels is gifted in one area - hitting a baseball about as well as anyone can - and about nowhere else.

The Red Sox grew fed up with Ramirez' defense and his man-child moments of inattention and immaturity this season, and the team clearly is positioning itself for greater payroll flexibility this winter, as it faces several critical decisions on players signed through next season only. Long-term contract decisions on Pedro Martinez [stats, news], Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe and Trot Nixon, for starters, await and with Ramirez acting as a drag on the club's checkbook, the club obviously values payroll flexibility above Ramirez' ability to consistently and reliably hit about 35 to 40 home runs with 100-plus RBI.

Ramirez batted .325 last season, finishing one point behind teammate Bill Mueller for the batting title, and belted 37 homers with 104 RBI.

About the only team capable of swallowing such a deal is the Yankees, whose brain trust last night had already gathered in Tampa, Fla., so that owner George Steinbrenner could help them absorb their six-game loss to the Marlins in the World Series.

This move will put immediate and obvious pressure on the Yankees to decide if Ramirez, who grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan, would be worth the risk. Ramirez has expressed his admiration for the Yankees before. The Yankees have an obvious hole to fill in their lineup and in right field, and for many reasons, Ramirez fits their needs, especially since their offense was found to be so lacking in the Fall Classic.

Steinbrenner is a difficult employer to predict. His, or the Yankees', decision on whether or not to pick up Ramirez will be fascinating.

Irrevocable waivers mean the club cannot pull the player back if another claims him. Players are sometimes placed on revocable waivers in order to gauge trade interest. If a team claims him, the waiving team can pull him back.

The reverberations of this move will be felt throughout baseball, as the Red Sox are signaling that they have lost all patience with Ramirez and need to make the most dramatic, if not the most obvious, move they can to increase their ability to wheel and deal this winter.

If the Red Sox are able to unload Ramirez on the Yankees or some other suddenly flush-feeling team, they will have that much more ability to go out and get another starting pitcher, another quality reliever or two and strengthen their defense as well.

If the Red Sox cannot unload Ramirez, they could still try to trade him and be forced to swallow a great deal of the remaining contract, an option the club would not be thrilled about. That is why they went yesterday's route, trying to cut their ties with Ramirez completely and swiftly.

If they still cannot trade Ramirez, the 2004 spring training promises to be more entertaining than usual as Ramirez reports to a ballclub that has sent a none-too-subtle message that he no longer is wanted.

Ramirez lost much of the confidence of the front office after his get-together with the Yankees' Enrique Wilson at the Ritz in late August, when Ramirez was supposed to be recuperating from pharyngitis. Ramirez missed his doctor's appointment the next morning and when the club played a tight ballgame in Philadelphia shortly after and Ramirez said he could not pinch hit, that set in motion his unofficial benching by then-manager Grady Little.

Ramirez, signed by former general manager Dan Duquette in December of 2000, is due $20.5 million in 2004, $20 million in 2005, $19 million in 2006, $18 million in 2007, $20 million in 2008. He will also make $4 million a year in deferred, no-interest salary between this coming season and 2010, plus he has $10 million remaining from his $16 million signing bonus still coming.

He made a $100,000 bonus yesterday for being named a Silver Slugger.

His club options for 2009 and 2010 are each worth $20 million.
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Postby wrveres » Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:42 am

WOW ....

What is to stop a team like MIL from cliaming him and then trying to trade him before the season starts, I mean they don't get paid during the off season do they?

Wow.... I hope he clears. So Boston can at least get something for him.
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Postby Jivedude » Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:52 am

wrveres wrote:WOW ....

What is to stop a team like MIL from cliaming him and then trying to trade him before the season starts, I mean they don't get paid during the off season do they?

Wow.... I hope he clears. So Boston can at least get something for him.


Well if someone took him then they could go after Vlad and/or a pitcher.
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Postby Transmogrifier » Thu Oct 30, 2003 8:55 am

Apparently no one would take the contract without the Sox picking up a substantial part of the money.

Now, I wonder why they put him on irrevocable waivers, just in case the Yankees claimed him. Anyone know about the waiver process?

Also, perhaps the Dodgers could pick him up. I'd like that.
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Postby Grenade Teeth » Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:44 am

:-? Manny in LA... I've always thought Manny could hit anywhere. That would be interesting to me. Couldn't hurt Green much. The attitude would probably be more accepted by the fans
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:57 am

I don't know why they did it now. I think every team would rather have Vlad than Manny, so why not what until after Vlad signs.
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Postby Transmogrifier » Thu Oct 30, 2003 10:48 am

wrveres wrote:
What is to stop a team like MIL from cliaming him and then trying to trade him before the season starts...


A brain. C'mon WR, you know as well as I do that to move that contract, the Sox--or in your example, the Brewers--would have to eat a lot of the contract.
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Postby Madison » Thu Oct 30, 2003 10:54 am

Transmogrifier wrote:Anyone know about the waiver process?


Most of it is in the two articles. ;-D


All I can say is "WOW". All a team has to do is take him. Amazing. I'll go out on a limb and say that someone will take him, but who................ :-?
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Postby Transmogrifier » Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:03 am

Madison wrote:
Transmogrifier wrote:Anyone know about the waiver process?


Most of it is in the two articles. ;-D


All I can say is "WOW". All a team has to do is take him. Amazing. I'll go out on a limb and say that someone will take him, but who................ :-?


I was looking for more details. Newspapers--and I was a journalism major--write for fourth-graders. It's a lot more complicated than what they write! ;-)

You really think someone would take him? I wouldn't mind the Yankees taking him. That takes them out of the Vlad market, saddles them with a huge contract, and allows us to get some pitching, and maybe even Vlad, who would be cheaper. It's either the Mets or Dodgers if not the Yanks, right?
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