Thursday, July 31, 2014

Los Angeles Dodgers Trade For Manny Ramirez

On July 31, 2009, in a three-way trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Boston Red Sox trade Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for fellow outfielder Jason Bay. A few other players were swapped, with the Pirates ending up with four minor league prospects. Manny had been the best hitter on the Red Sox by miles, but his constantly aggravating behavior caused a riff in the clubhouse.

Just a few days earlier, he told ESPN Deportes, "The Red Sox don't deserve a player like me. During my years here, I've seen how they [the Red Sox] have mistreated other great players when they didn't want them to try to turn the fans against them. The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me."

Bay did okay with the Red Sox, but he was nowhere near as good as Manny was in L.A. Revitalized in a new city that completely embraced him, Ramirez single-handedly carried the Dodgers to the postseason. In his 53 games with the team, Manny batted .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI. He was even better in the postseason, producing 13 hits in 25 at-bats, 4 home runs, and 10 RBI in eight games. His numbers were so incredible that Red Sox players began calling him out, claiming that he had been dogging it so that he could be traded.

"The day he realized that they were not going to sign him to an extension was the day he said, 'Uncle. I'm done,'" former teammate Curt Schilling said in September of that year. "The fact of the matter was, you looked at a guy who, at the end of the day, when you look back on the history, never, ever cared about any of us."

Had Ramirez not been 36 years old, he would have fetched one of the largest contracts in MLB history. Instead, he and agent Scott Boras had to "settle" with a two-year $45 million extension with the Dodgers.