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Manny deal hits another snag

Sox balk when Rays ask for Hanley Ramirez

The proposed three-way deal that would have sent Manny Ramirez to the New York Mets before tomorrow’s 4 p.m. trading deadline may have hit an insurmountable snag today when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the third team in the deal, demanded that top Red Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez be included in the trade, according to major league sources.

For the Red Sox, that was a deal breaker, and unless the Devil Rays have a change of heart, it would appear that the deal is dead.

There is always the possibility the Mets could take another run at Ramirez during the August waiver period, or after the season.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, the Red Sox would have received outfielder Mike Cameron, pitcher Aaron Heilman, and outfield prospect Lastings Milledge from the Mets, and infielder/outfielder Aubrey Huff from the Devil Rays. But according to major league sources, the Devil Rays, who on Friday were prepared to accept a package of prospects that included Double-A pitcher Anibal Sanchez from the Red Sox, today insisted on Hanley Ramirez, and the Red Sox turned it down. Manny Ramirez and Devil Rays closer Danys Baez would have gone to the Mets in the deal.

It’s possible that the Red Sox and Devil Rays could resume talks about a straight two-way deal for Huff, who would give the Red Sox a lefthanded bat to replace the injured Trot Nixon. But Huff is due in excess of $6.75 million next season, which could make him too expensive for Boston’s taste at this time.

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