Everybody knew that this year's Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline wouldn't be ridiculously busy, primarily because a couple of the biggest names (Rich Harden and CC Sabathia) were already traded one or two weeks prior. However, that didn't stop some wild activity from taking place. Here's a look at each team that was involved today and where they wound up.
Boston Red Sox - Apparently, through his latest antics, the Sox were just dying to get rid of Manny. Of course, this is not the first year this conversation has happened, though it is possibly a bit more urgent this year since the main portion of Manny's contract ends after this year (though he still has options for 2009 and 2010 at $20 million apiece).
What did the Red Sox lose? Probably one of the five or ten best hitters that I'll ever see, along with Craig Hansen, a former top draft pick closer with serious control issues and Brandon Moss, a fourth outfielder.
What did they gain? Jason Bay. Being a Pirates fan, I am aware of what the Red Sox are getting. They are getting a player who was on pace to reach a .280 average, 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI for the third time in the last four years in spite of playing in an absolutely horrid lineup. With the protection he will get and/or provide by being surrounded by Ortiz, Drew, Youkilis, Lowell, and Pedroia, the sky is the limit for his production. Add on to that the fact that Bay is under contract for roughly $10 million for the remainder of this season and all of next season, and the fact that Bay could be had in a $12-15 million extension, and the Red Sox get only a slight decline in offense, cancelled out by a much better left field defense, all while saving money and sacrificing a couple of mediocre prospects.
Grade - A-
Los Angeles Dodgers - As a Pirate fan, I know what it's like to have an absolute numbskull for a general manager. Therefore, I feel the Dodger's pain in watching Ned Coletti. This is a horrible deal for them. What did they gain? Manny Ramirez, a hitter who immediately makes their offense more potent, basically for free, since Boston will pay the remaining #7 million of his 2008 salary.
What else did they gain? Manny Ramirez, a man whose middle name is distraction and whose opportunities for exactly that just increased exponentially by moving to the West Coast.
On top of that, the Dodgers agreed to decline Manny's option for 2009, and Manny in turn agreed to decline arbitration, thus guaranteeing him free agent status after this season. So the Dodgers got Ramirez without having to pay his salary, but they only get to rent him for this season.