Mets and Red Sox execs have agreed to discuss Manny Ramirez at the winter meetings in Dallas in early December, and Omar Minaya recently told one baseball person, “I’m going for it.”
One thing about Minaya, he loves offense. Another thing: When he falls in love, he falls hard.
While one Mets official characterized their chances to squeeze Ramirez into their budget as “not impossible,” he acknowledged that a deal for Ramirez, which would necessitate clearing significant salary space and involve “several moving pieces,” won’t be easy. And that’s only if Ramirez consents to coming home.
Minaya’s infatuation is so well known that one of Carlos Delgado’s first questions about his new employers was, “Are they going to trade me to Boston for Manny?” The answer, Delgado was told, is no. He’s here to stay.
The Angels, deep in young pitching, competed with the Mets for Delgado. Their next logical target could be Ramirez. With Ramirez preferring a slow-paced lifestyle, perhaps they can sell him by changing their name back to Anaheim.
Though Delgado is technically allowed to demand a trade after 2006, there’s NO SHOT (the first- ever appearance of all caps in this column) he’d follow through and walk away from his heavily backloaded contract ($34.5 million total in ’07 and ’08). Which means the Mets have him for three years if they like, whether he likes it or not.
Just guessing here, but it would take Milledge, Cliff Floyd and Steve Trachsel and perhaps further bodies to get this done. And as tantalizing as the Mets’ near term future might be, what do you reckon the vibe around Shea will be like in 3 years when Martinez, Delgado and Ramirez are making a combined $45 million or so (at the combined age of 111?).
With the Marlins folding, Phillies and Nationals obviously vulnerable and the Braves less imposing than anytime in the past 15 years (pending Rafael Furcal’s status), Omar Minaya can see the wide-open window of opportunity. Of course, the Mets have yet to resolve their closer situation, add a top flight catcher, appoint a right fielder (unless Nady and Victor Diaz are expected to platoon) nor determine if the Kaz Matsui Disaster is allowed to continue for a 3rd season.