SI.com's John Heyman, who this afternoon wrote about the Dodgers potential interest in Manny Ramirez, has updated his report which now has the Philadelphia Phillies taking the lead as the team that could end up with Manny:
The Red Sox appear serious about trading slugger Manny Ramirez and are talking to the Phillies and two other teams about a deal, according to people familiar with the talks.
The Phillies may be the front-runner for Ramirez, who has told people he probably will OK a deal to Philadelphia if the teams can agree on a trade.
It isn't yet known what players would be going back to Boston, but left fielder Pat Burrell is having a similar year statistically (.277/.400/.585 with 26 HRs and 61 RBIs in 103 games for Burrell; .304/.400/.538 with 20 HRs and 68 RBIs in 98 games for Ramirez) and could be a logical fit. He has a no-trade clause but has told the Phillies in the past that he'd be willing to waive it for the Red Sox and Yankees.
If a deal can be completed, the addition of Ramirez would give Philadelphia one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball. The Phillies offense has been struggling lately and could use a boost from the Cooperstown-bound Ramirez, who has a longstanding relationship with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who was Ramirez's hitting coach when the two were in Cleveland.
In a report posted on NYTimes.com yesterday, Phillies GM Pat Gillick expressed no interest in exploring a trade for Manny:
“At this point, there’s no interest [in Manny] on our part,” said Gillick, in a telephone interview.
“We have no place to play the guy. ...
“Burrell has to play left field and I don’t think Ramirez has played right field in seven or eight years,” Gillick said.
Heyman writes that the Dodgers and the Marlins are the other teams involved in Manny talks with the Sox, with Florida being a longshot.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports provided a trade deadline update tonight that has the Dodgers being out of the Manny running:
The Dodgers are not pursuing Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, according to major-league sources. Their priority remains a shortstop, and they might end up with only a backup at the position, if anyone.
The Red Sox contacted the Dodgers about Ramirez, just as they've contacted virtually every team that might be interested in the slugger. The Dodgers, however, dismissed the idea, balking at the likely asking price and the circus-like atmosphere surrounding Ramirez.
"There's too much going on there," one source said.
And on ESPN.com, Jim Caple shows us what Manny's Hall of Fame plaque would look like if all the Manny trade rumors over the years had come to fruition.