MANNY RAMIREZ TRADED TO DODGERS
RED SOX GET JASON BAY FROM PITTSBURGH, PART OF THREE-TEAM DEAL
By JOEL SHERMAN
Manny Ramirez is finally out of Boston, out of the AL East and no longer a Yankees New York Yankees nemesis in 2008 -- unless the Dodgers and Yankees reach the World Series.
Ramirez, who used to torture Joe Torre, is now joining Torre's Dodgers. He was part of a blockbuster, three-team deal consummated just before Thursday's 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.
"When a player like Manny becomes available, I don't think there's a manager in baseball who wouldn't say they're interested," Torre said after the trade was announced. "It was something that happened very quickly, obviously."
Disgruntled Ramirez was sent to the Dodgers with the Red Sox agreeing to pay the remainder of his contract this season. The Red Sox would receive Jason Bay from the Pirates with the idea the righty slugger would offset the production of Ramirez.
The Pirates receive four prospects: third baseman Andy LaRoche and righty Bryan Morris from the Dodgers, and outfielder Damien Moss and former St. John's reliever Craig Hansen from the Red Sox.
Ramirez, the MVP of the 2004 World Series, remains one of baseball's best hitters and has enjoyed plenty of big moments in October. But his relationship with the Red Sox soured - again - in recent months, prompting the All-Star outfielder to agree to the deal.
The Dodgers began the day one game behind first-place Arizona in the NL West, and were seeking a big bat. Boston, in the middle of the AL East race and chasing a second straight World Series title, wanted a productive hitter in return and got that.
The last-place Pirates were looking for young talent. LaRoche, Moss and Hansen will join Pittsburgh and Morris will go to Single-A Hickory.
Even before landing Ramirez, Los Angeles had a crowded outfield. Torre has been juggling Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre.
"You wish you had the DH," Torre said. "We didn't plan in advance how to move things around."
Ramirez, 36, was hitting .299 with a team-leading 20 homers and 68 RBIs for Boston. He hit his 500th career home run this year and is one of just eight players to hit at least 20 homers in 14 consecutive seasons.
Ramirez is in the final guaranteed season of an eight-year, $160 million contract. It also contains club options at $20 million each for 2009 and 2110.
Wednesday, Ramirez criticized his team, telling ESPNdeportes: "The Red Sox don't deserve a player like me."
"During my years here I've seen how they have mistreated other great players when they didn't want them to try to turn the fans against them," he said.
The often contentious relationship between Ramirez and the Red Sox included him requesting trades after the 2005 and 2006 season.