Sox looking to trade Renteria
DALLAS -- While trade talks involving Manny Ramirez stalled -- with one source with direct knowledge of the negotiations indicating that the New York Mets are not in the bidding and that the Los Angeles Angels had not been heard from Tuesday -- the Red Sox were moving aggressively to trade shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Renteria, Boston's prize free agent acquisition last winter who has fallen out of favor after a 30-error season, could be headed to the Atlanta Braves as part of a three-way deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in which the Sox would receive Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo while the Devil Rays would get prospects from Atlanta, presumably highly regarded third baseman Andy Marte and another player.
Two sources with direct knowledge of negotiations Tuesday night confirmed the proposed deal. The Braves just lost their shortstop, Rafael Furcal, who agreed to a three-year, $39 million free agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend, and have always held Renteria in high regard. The Sox, meanwhile, would either play Lugo at short or at second base, depending on two other deals they had on the table. They asked the Angels about Orlando Cabrera, and also are trying to persuade the San Diego Padres to take catcher Doug Mirabelli in exchange for second baseman Mark Loretta.
The Sox asked for Cabrera as part of the package they were seeking in exchange for Ramirez, but a source with direct knowledge of the Angels' thinking said Tuesday night that he did not expect the Angels to make a deal for the Red Sox slugger. ''It's not happening,'' the source said.
Meanwhile, the Mets, who already have made a series of major moves this offseason, acquiring first baseman Carlos Delgado and catcher Paul Lo Duca in trades and signing free agent closer Billy Wagner, are not in the running for Ramirez, according to the source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.
Mets GM Omar Minaya, in a group session with Mets beat reporters, lent credence to the notion that the Mets aren't in for Ramirez Tuesday night.
''Getting the extra big bat is not a priority,'' Minaya said. ''What's more of a priority for us is making sure we get a good bench in place and continuing to improve the bullpen. Getting a big bat is not a No. 1 priority because of Delgado.
''When you're talking about a big bat, you're usually talking about salary. Nobody's going to be trading big bats that are cheap. And any time there are salaries, there are always complexities.''
If the Mets and Angels are out, do the Sox have a match for Manny? ''Probably not,'' said a source with direct knowledge of negotiations.