In the ESPN.com chat with Jerry Crasnick today, there were a couple questions about a possible Manny Ramirez for Miguel Tejada trade. (For those of you who haven’t heard, Tejada recently announced that he is unhappy in Baltimore and wants to be traded.) With the Red Sox having just traded away Edgar Renteria, they definitely are in need of a new shortstop. But still, this deal doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, for a few reasons.
- The Red Sox and Orioles play in the same division. I can’t imagine either team pulling off an intra-division blockbuster like this. It wouldn’t be quite the same as the Sox and Yankees doing something, but pretty close. I can imagine the Red Sox having nightmares about playing a suddenly motivated Manny nineteen times a season, and the same goes for the Orioles and Tejada.
- They are both disgruntled. It just doesn’t seem wise to me to trade one guy who is unwilling to fulfill his contract for another guy with the same problem. The Red Sox are tired of the headache that Manny has caused, and the Orioles will certainly be tired of Tejada’s problems within a couple days. Why would they want to trade headaches? The only real way to get rid of a whiny player demanding a trade is to get less value. That’s because the whiny, trade-demanding nature of a guy detracts from whatever value he may have on a baseball field. And one more thing: Manny has a no-trade clause. Would he waive it to go to a team that Tejada says doesn’t want to win?
On the other hand, there are at least a couple reasons why the two teams might consider this trade, both related to my second point above:
- It may be the only way to get equal value. Maybe the only way the Red Sox are going to get a star for Manny without having to pay his whole salary is by trading for another high-priced, disgruntled star. With Tejada’s contract, the Sox wouldn’t be expected to pick up much (if any) of Manny’s salary, and they would get a former MVP in return.
- They are disgruntled for (seemingly) different reasons. No one is really sure why Manny is unhappy. He is the second-highest-paid player in baseball. He plays for a team that makes the playoffs every year. He won a World Series 14 months ago. His organization chooses to overlook his defensive and personality flaws. But for some reason, Manny is unhappy. Tejada, on the other hand, is upset that he doesn’t think the Orioles are trying to win. It is absolutely clear that no Red Sox player would ever make that accusation, so Tejada’s problems would probably be solved. Maybe a move to Baltimore would solve Manny’s mysterious problems, too. (And maybe, since it seems clear that Manny’s desire to be traded has nothing to do with winning and losing, he wouldn’t mind being traded to a team that is being accused of not trying to win.)
Overall, I still don’t think it makes sense to make this trade. Both of the points in favor of the trade definitely favor Boston’s side of things more thab Baltimore’s. But lots of things that don’t make sense happen every off-season in baseball, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen.