Hot Stove Entry #1

Here we go: links to a trade rumor involving the Red Sox and Mets. According to  a Boston source, the Sox are interested in getting Aaron Heilman to fill the closer role next year. They are also still interested in Lastings Milledge. If the Mets are willing to take on Manny’s remaining salary, this could happen. Or so the rumor goes.

Would this be a good deal for the Sox? On the surface, they’re not getting equal value back. But what if they turn the money they’re no longer paying Manny into a front-line starter (Zito or Schmidt) and also make a run at a Carlos Lee? The point of the deal would be to provide Theo and Company flexibility to make a lot of other moves, while developing a stronger core for the future. Milledge’s stock might have fallen this past year, but he’s only a year removed from being a top 5 prospect in all of baseball. An Ellsbury-Pena-Milledge outfield beginning in 2008 might not be too shabby. And are you convinced that Heilman is a closer in the making? He was a brilliant set-up man in the 2nd half, so maybe he has the stuff to shut down people in the ninth.

Meanwhile, on the Yankees front: Sheffield is searching out George Steinbrenner presumably to convince him not to pick up Sheff’s option for next year unless the Yankees plan on keeping him on past next year and play him at DH and RF. If they meet, television crews should be there. My prediction will be that George will work his magic and convince Sheffield to accept a trade to the Astros for one year. The Yanks will get Brad Lidge in return. In 2008, Sheff will return to the Yanks as a locker room reporter (so long, Kim Jones) who will ask players very uncomfortable questions daily.

Sheffield: "Why are you like that?"
A-Rod: "Not sure what you mean, Gary."
Sheffield: "Don’t call me Gary. It’s Mr. Sheffield to you."

Sheffield: "Why do they call you the Big Unit?"
Big Unit: "Guess"
Sheffield: "I’ll beat the living sh*t out of you. Answer my question. Why are you called the Big Unit? It doesn’t make sense."

17 comments… add one
  • In case anyone didn’t notice, the Sox for the last month of the season had virtually no offense except for MannyOrtez, and no offense at all when it was just Papi slugging it out alone.
    There is virtually no trade, in my view, that would make up for the loss of this three-four combo. Maybe someone like Tejada could provide the same protection and punch.
    But as I’ve said before, I just don’t buy into the Manny-is-a-distraction thing. Not for his teammates, he isn’t.
    He’s a huge asset… Consistent, unflappable in any hitting situation. The Sox should not roll the dice and try someone else, because replacing his production will cost his whole salary, imho — with no guarantee of success comparable to his proven track record, year after year.
    The Sox need a lot of pitching but in my view they have to get it without shedding Manny. Not easy, and Henry/Lucchino may have to just shell out if they want to maintain the level of fan interest that peaked in 2004 but was seriously hurt by the sad conclusion of 2006.

    Hudson October 28, 2006, 12:06 pm
  • If the Sox rid themselves of Manny Yankee fans everywhere will rejoice. That guy kills us. He’s taken off years of my life by just simply being in the “players coming up” graphic that comes before the commercial break in the Sox v Yanks games this season.

    walein October 28, 2006, 12:43 pm
  • …yeah, i believe we’ve established that sf’s think “distraction” is an inaccurate description of manny…what he is though is a tremendous talent, a bit eccentric, who occasionally seems to lack hustle and motivation…still, i wouldn’t trade him…he can’t be replaced at any price, and you may find it would have some negative effect on ortiz…while ortiz is a talent in his own right, i think the protection that manny gives him is too valuable to fool with…

    dc October 28, 2006, 12:51 pm
  • and dc, that “occasional” lack of hustle is like three times a year, even if it is made out as if it’s every day by the press and/or some uninformed fans. Trading Manny isn’t a stupid concept in itself (I think everyone is tradeable, in theory), but when you find out who they are (possibly) trading him for it usually becomes a very stupid concept.

    SF October 28, 2006, 1:29 pm
  • …i believe i made myself clear about manny’s value to your team, but it appears you want me to keep my comments one-sided [only positive, boy is that a theme with sf’s]…so i’m uninformed…i’ve been called worse on this site…more than one “occasion” of lack of hustle and motivation is one too many…but if you’re ok with it…

    dc October 28, 2006, 2:06 pm
  • I guess we need to throw out every player but David Eckstein then, dc. I’ve seen nearly every player look like an ass on the field or slack off on running out a ground ball…
    If the Sox can sign Carlos Lee to “replace” Manny’s offense in the 4 spot and have Milledge coming up with Pena already likely to hit 30 HR next year, that’d be pretty good. I’m not sure I want it to happen, but Heilman is young, has great stuff, and is consiidered a possible starting candidate, as well…
    Lee’s 30 years old and in 2006 hit .300/.355/.540 with 37 HR and 116 RBI (both career highs). There’s no reason he can’t do .300/40/120 this season, which is roughly what we could expect from Manny, and we’d be likely getting it for five years, as opposed to just two. So if that can take place, then I’d do the trade. But you absolutely have to replace Manny’s production with like production. Pena still needs some work before we can say for sure he’s going to jack 40 HR a season (although it sure seems probable).
    So that’s my verdict — do the trade if you’ve got assurances that Lee will sign. Otherwise, Manny’s just too valuable to lose…

    Paul SF October 28, 2006, 3:21 pm
  • I agree with SF. There is no such thing as a player that should not be traded under any circumstance. However, we all know that the player in question is a once-in-a-lifetime offensive find. The bar is set so high by what a team would have to part with to make it worthwhile for the Sox, I just can’t see it happening.
    Meanwhile, the Oregon State Beavers are up 7-0 on USC. Go Beavs!.

    attackgerbil October 28, 2006, 4:07 pm
  • dc, you are being very sensitive. I wasn’t picking on you, but rather those who make Manny out to be irreparably mercurial or constantly lazy. It’s a tired storyline and clearly has very little legitimate basis in the reality of Manny’s prodigious, consistent baseball efforts and displays of talent: you cannot be that consistently good without working at it. I apologize for not being more specific about who I was criticizing.

    SF October 28, 2006, 6:27 pm
  • …pretty lame psych move trying to turn around the “sensitive” thing sf, but expected it from one of you sooner or later…being sensitive is not a bad thing, go with it…you don’t need to apologize for not being specific about who you consider uninformed…sometimes i am uninformed…i have been critical of manny’s occasional lapses, but i do respect his behind the scenes effort and ethic, and his amazing on field results…that’s why i keep harping on his value to your team, and why i don’t understand why so many folks think he should be traded…if it is concern for his age creeping up, and that his production might tail off, that’s something i can hold onto…right now, i just think his loss would more than offset any speculative gain in some other area…

    dc October 29, 2006, 2:51 pm
  • jeez, dc. I can’t even apologize without you making a stink. I give up.

    SF October 29, 2006, 4:47 pm
  • …not a stink buddy, but it is good to hear you finally admit you’re wrong…like i said, no need to apologize, i’m not thin-skinned like you sox fans…

    dc October 29, 2006, 6:40 pm
  • dude, just shut up. seriously.

    SF October 29, 2006, 7:01 pm
  • …good come back…i’ll file that with “i know you are, but what am i?”, and “whatever”…

    dc October 29, 2006, 7:27 pm
  • It wasn’t a comeback. It was a request.

    SF October 29, 2006, 7:28 pm
  • …”shutup” is a request?…i’m glad we’re friends, i’d hate to see how you talk to people you like…getting back to the original point, i’m just surprised the sox would try to trade manny given his value to the team, but maybe there’s a better combination of talent that would offset his loss…i just don’t see it right now…

    dc October 29, 2006, 8:05 pm
  • me neither, which is why he hasn’t yet been traded by the Sox. The only deal the Sox had in place where Manny was going to be moved was for…A-Rod. I don’t think the Sox underestimate Manny’s value.

    SF October 29, 2006, 8:15 pm
  • …fair enough…i agree the sox could make an arod/manny trade work…i think there are some blocks to that trade that we’ve discussed before, like arod’s no trade clause [not sure if manny has one, although he has hinted that he might want to leave boston], the yanks have a left fielder that they seem happy with, manny is a few years older than arod, and neither of our teams want to make a trade with each other that could come back to haunt them…

    dc October 29, 2006, 8:55 pm

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