’s Jon Heyman details what he claims to be Boston’s rational for putting Manny Being Manny on the block (again)

While Ramirez’s quirks may be wearying, the Red Sox recognize his importance to the lineup and are obviously going for the gusto this year, as evidenced by their monster $51.1 million bid to win negotiating rights for Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, not to mention their aggressive pursuit of free agent J.D. Drew.

“It would take a really creative deal” to move Ramirez, Epstein said.

Ramirez, one of the game’s best right-handed hitters, months ago made his third trade request (or is it his fourth?) since he’s been in Boston. However, the 10-and-5 player has veto rights over trades, so Boston would have to get him to sign off on any deal. Anaheim is one destination that might interest Ramirez.

One person familiar with Boston’s early round of talks reports only that teams have “poked around” and that nothing serious is expected to happen until weeks later. “So far all the GMs are focused on free agents,” Epstein said.

That’s not such a bad thing for the Red Sox, whose executives believe that big numbers for free-agent outfielders Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee will reinforce the notion that Ramirez is a real bargain. Soriano could hit $90 million and Lee $75 million, or more.

As one competing GM said, “Manny at $40 million starts looking pretty good.”

The White Sox have sent reliever / Journey fan Neil Cotts to the Cubs in exchange for pitchers David Aardasma and Carlos Vasquez.