It's the Post, so beware....
FOR YANKS, RAMIREZ
NOT MANNY FOR JOB
By KEVIN KERNAN
According to sources, Yanks and Mets have no interest in claiming Bosox' Manny Ramirez, who'll make $20.5 million next season.
October 31, 2003 -- The Red Sox have more than dumping Manny Ramirez up their sleeve. The Yankees don't want any part of the slugger, who was put on irrevocable waivers Wednesday.
The key phase of the Red Sox's plan involves trying to swing a three-way trade that would land Alex Rodriguez, baseball's best player, in Fenway, according to Boston sources.
There is no way the Yankees will claim Ramirez on waivers, according to a club source, who said yesterday, "That isn't going to happen."
The Mets also have no interest in the outfielder who batted .325 this season with 37 home runs and 104 RBIs.
The deadline for any team to claim Ramirez off waivers is 1 p.m. today.
The Yankees have shown interest in A-Rod, but may be scared off by creating a conflict with shortstop Derek Jeter.
Jeter would have to switch to second base or third base, and that could cause a problem. However, Jeter repeatedly has said he always would do what is best for the Yankees, who are coming off a six-game World Series loss to the Marlins. Being paired with A-Rod would allow Jeter to score 140 runs, and A-Rod could knock in that many. They would become the ultimate Dynamic Duo.
If A-Rod winds up in a Boston uniform, that would go a long way to reversing the Curse.
Taking on the best player in baseball will not be easy, especially because he is still owed $154 million over seven years. That is why the Red Sox want to rid themselves of Ramirez's $101.5 million over the next five years.
To land A-Rod, according to sources, the Red Sox would send Nomar Garciaparra, who has one year left on his contract, to an unidentified third team as part of a three-way trade, most likely a West Coast club. The Rangers would acquire help in a number of ways, including pitcher Casey Fossum and pitching coming back from the team that lands Garciaparra.
The Red Sox are fed up with both Garciaparra and Ramirez. Even if they can't dump Ramirez on someone else, they at least can tell him, "See, we tried to get you to the Yankees, but even they didn't want you, so get your act together."
If all goes according to the Red Sox's plan, Bartolo Colon would wind up signing there as a free agent. It remains to be seen how the Red Sox can financially swing such a move and land A-Rod.
This space advocated the Yankees dealing for Colon a year ago; now the Yankees are trying to play catch-up. The Red Sox see an opening and are trying to make the most of it. They are driven to overtake the Yankees and play in the 2004 World Series.
A-Rod would love to land in two other places: with the Mets; or with the Cubs, who have the kind of pitching that will make them contenders for the life of his current contract.
The Mets whiffed on A-Rod before and appear to have no interest now, according to sources.
Ramirez's agent, Jeff Moorad, did not return calls yesterday. Yanks GM Brian Cashman also did not return calls.
George Steinbrenner was not heard from either, although he did release kind words through a spokesperson, saying the just-completed meeting between the Yankees' Tampa and New York families was a success.
We'll see how much of a success it is if the Red Sox come away with A-Rod and/or Colon.
I'm back. Sorta.
Do not boo Johnny.