Manny Ramirez wants a trade, and I honestly think there's a chance that it may happen.
It seems to me that Ramirez is pulling a Jay Payton, and complaining about being on the team. Apparently he doesn't get any privacy as a Red Sox, but I hate to be the one to break it to Manny when I say: Wherever you go, you won't have privacy from the media.
I want even try to fathom a trade where we ship him out. It would be too complicated, I believe. But by trading a big bat like Ramirez, we could get a lot in return. Not just one big bat or a good arm, but we could get a lot of players that could fill the holes for us. Odds are that none of them will produce like Ramirez, that's pretty much a given, but if we can get a couple of solid hitting outfielders, a lefty starter, and a hard-throwing reliever, we may make ourselves better prepared for a playoff run. Theo Epstein will be sure not to trade him for nothing, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him traded. It would be like trading Nomar Garciaparra last year. It shocked Red Sox Nation, but it ended up being for the good of the team.
Trade talks have stalled between Boston and Minnesota. Apparently Minnesota doesn't want to part with Romero or starter Kyle Lohse. If that's the only thing holding up this trade, then Minnesota will crack and I'm sure the deal will go down. But I have a feeling there's more that has delayed this trade.
If we do take on Romero, we are running out of roster options. We would have to call up Kevin Youkilis from Pawtucket, because if he doesn't start in Mueller's absence, all hell will break lose. So if Romero takes Mueller's spot, Youkilis needs to take a pitcher's spot. The only possibilities are Jeremi Gonzalez, Manny Delcarmen and Lenny DiNardo. It seems to me DiNardo is a part-time call up, as Boston may call up Roberto Petagine to play first base, and Kevin Millar can play right field in Trot Nixon's absence. That leaves Delcarmen and Gonzalez. Gonzalez hasn't pitched well, but he's been valuable as the long reliever, and if Delcarmen keeps pitching like he did in his debut, then I don't see him going down either. Needless to say, we are starting to get very crowded on our 25-man roster.
With Nixon on the 15-day disabled list - and probably longer - the Red Sox are shopping for an outfielder. Who's on the radar? Arizona's Jose Cruz Jr., Baltimore's Larry Bigbie, Kansas City's Terrence Long, Minnesota's Jacque Jones, Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff, Pittsburgh's Matt Lawton, and the Dodgers' Ricky Ledee.
My choice? Well, first, let's rule out Long, Ledee and Bigbie. Long and Ledee don't interest me enough, while odds are Baltimore won't trade Bigbie within the division. That leaves Cruz, who was recently designated for assignment, Jones, Huff, and Lawton. Huff is pricey and hasn't hit to his potential. Jones has had probably the best season of the four, and is on-pace for 21 home runs. He also 9 steals on the season. Cruz has appeared in only 64 games, but has 12 home runs, so he has a lot of power potential. Lawton is a clubhouse horror, so I don't think he's our top choice.
For me, I'd like to have Jones, with Cruz a close second. Jones is the prime option because A) he has power B) he has speed and C) is pretty good defensively. One bad thing, though, is that Jones is a .160 hitter at Fenway Park since 2002. That's four hits in 25 at-bats. You can probably contribute that to tough pitching, though.
The Phillies have been going after both Bronson Arroyo and Wade Miller, but Boston hasn't budged yet. Philly wants to get Danys Baez, so they are shopping around Wagner and really need a starting pitcher to add to their rotation.
This trade needs a lot of working out. If we do get Wagner, I expect to get him on July 31st, and not any sooner than that. If Curt Schilling goes back to the rotation then we can fill him in for either Arroyo or Miller, depending on who goes, if one of them goes.