If you believe what you read, the Manny Ramirez trade breaks down somewhat as follows:
Red Sox Get
Devil Rays Get
The past two seasons, the Red Sox were content to let Manny Ramirez be cherry-picked off of waivers, provided his new team were willing to foot the bill for his entire contract at $20 million per season. So perhaps someone can explain to me why, unless the Sox are kicking in upwards of 50% of his remaining contract, would the Mets trade Mike Cameron AND top pitching prospect Yusmeiro Petit AND top positional prospect Lastings Milledge just to have to pay most or all of Manny's salary? For the privilege of acquiring the mediocre bullpen arm of Danys Baez?
The deal was apparently nixed because the Red Sox didn't feel like they were getting enough back, and Tampa GM Chuck LaMar must have felt like a bank robber who was one step from the door when the alarm went off. Since when is Danys Baez worth more than even a B prospect? He's certainly not closer material (20-for-27 this season), so who in their right mind would pay an arm and a leg for a decent setup man? Here's hoping it's not the Mets.
I'm about as big a Manny Ramirez fan as there is: I routinely wear my #24 Sox t-shirt around north Jersey, eliciting dirty looks from Yankee fans and high-fives from Sox fans. As much as I would love to have his bat in the lineup, this deal just doesn't make sense for the Mets. The Mets have no business selling the farm for a hopeless push towards the playoffs this season. Maybe they'll get lucky and things will break their way, but more likely they will wind up in third or fourth place in the NL East. I'd like to see Petit get a shot to crack the rotation next Spring, and for Milledge to get an invite with the possibility of a September-2006 callup for a cup of coffee.
If Omar is serious about acquiring Manny Ramirez, why not wait until after the season, when his price tag will surely go down? The Red Sox are a smart organization, and they know how difficult a task it would be to replace Manny at all, let alone in the middle of a pennant race. The offseason would give the Sox ample time to find replacement offense elsewhere, and the Mets would have the upper hand in negotiations because the postseason mirage would no longer be clouding their judgement.
I say pass on this deal, at least for now.