(Manny considers waiving his 10/5 right of refusal if he can use Jeff Wilpon’s executive commode)

If we’re to believe a number of published and broadcast reports, the Mets, Red Sox and Devil Rays spent much of Friday negotiating a 3-way blockbuster that would’ve brought Manny Ramirez and Danys Baez to Flushing, a quartet of prospects Uncle Louie’s Holiday Camp, and outfielders Aubrey Huff and Mike Cameron to Fenway.

From the New York Times’ Lee Jenkins :

The executive said he believed there was a chance that the trade would go through but was not optimistic. A second executive, who requested anonymity because the trade did not involve his team, said Mets General Manager Omar Minaya believed the Red Sox asked for too much from the Mets, creating a snag.

The parties planned to negotiate again Saturday to try to resuscitate the deal.

The Mets are most concerned about Ramirez’s contract – he is owed more than $64 million through 2008 – and they will probably not agree to a trade unless the Red Sox agree to cover a large portion of his salary. Boston has some incentive to move Ramirez because he has requested a trade and the Red Sox have long been trying to shed his contract to have greater financial flexibility. In the past two years, they have put him on waivers and tried to trade him several times.

Presumably, Boston’s Anibel Sanchez and New York’s Yusmeiro Petit are two of the players that Tampa covets.

Outside of the financial considerations, it is hard to imagine that Huff and Cameron provide enough offense to satisfy Boston’s needs, givne that splitting up Ramirez and David Ortiz will have a major impact on the sort of pitches Big Papi sees.

After tonight’s 5-2 loss to the unconscious Houston Astros, the Mets find themselves with a record of 52-51, the same mark they’d set by the close of play the Friday evening before last season’s trading deadline. Not that I’m suggesting the Mets should exercise caution when trading young talent for a spacey slugger who is indifferent about fielding (if not playing altogether). Nothing should inspire Carlos Beltran more than becoming the 2nd Highest Paid member of the team.

Not to be outdone, the Orioles and Rockies swapped Larry Bigbie and Eric Byrnes. In all seriousness, Baltimore’s window of opportunity has already been closed on Peter Angelos’ neck. After losing to Chicago this evening, the free-falling O’s are trailing Boston by 6 games.

In one of the more spectacular salary dumps to not feature the word “Aurilla”, Texas have obtained Phil Nevin from San Diego in exchange for Chan Ho Park. Given that the Rangers now have first basemen in Mark Teixeira and Nevin, the odds of prospect Adrian Gonzalez being moved between now and Sunday evening have improved.