Manny-to-Mets trade is alive
By Michael Silverman
Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - Updated: 05:28 AM EST
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The Mets not only have interest in trading for Manny Ramirez, they also believe that the Red Sox outfielder has interest in playing for them.
Recent reports have suggested that Ramirez does not want to play in New York and prefers to play for Anaheim, Arizona or Cleveland. A baseball source, however, said yesterday that the Mets have received indication that reports of Ramirez not wanting to play too close to his hometown may have been a smokescreen aimed at diverting attention from the Mets’ pursuit. Ramirez does have veto rights over any deal, so his consent is key.
The Red Sox and Mets spoke at the trading deadline this past July about both a two- and three-team deal, the third team being the Devil Rays. Now, the Mets are believed to be ready to deal directly with the Sox.
The centerpiece of the deal, coming from the Mets’ side, would be center fielder Mike Cameron and two of the following three prospects: outfielder Lastings Milledge and right-handers Aaron Heilman and Yusmeiro Petit.
The Red Sox have not indicated whether they wish to trade Ramirez, but word leaked out last month that he had told owner John Henry that he wanted to be traded or else he would not report to spring training.
A trade for Cameron would certainly seem to rule out a return for Red Sox free agent center fielder Johnny Damon. Cameron will make $6 million next season, with the Mets holding a club option worth $7 million, or a $500,000 buyout, in 2007.
Ramirez is owed close to $60 million over the next three seasons.
If this particular trade with the Mets were to materialize, the Red Sox would still have to find a cleanup hitter to try to replace Ramirez’ prodigious production.
Ramirez batted .292 last season with 45 home runs and 144 RBI in 152 games. He was second in the league in RBI behind teammate David Ortiz.
Cameron batted .273 with 12 homers and 39 RBI in only 76 games last year. He missed a good part of the season after a horrific outfield collision.