If the names Lastings Milledge, Mike Cameron, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, or Adam Dunn don't exactly strike fear into your heart as a suitable replacement for the man who provides what many see as the ultimate protection for David Ortiz, perhaps it is simply a matter of us forgetting to consider one guy who might make the most sense.
Aside from a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Angels that yields stud pitching prospects in return, isn't the prospect of seeing Carlos Delgado in a Red Sox uniform a little bit more temperate for Manny fans than someone like Cameron? The Marlins are looking to trade Delgado this offseason, as the big bucks of the four-year deal he signed last offseason kick in. His 2006 salary will jump from $4 million to $13.5 million.
No, you're not saving a ton of money. With three years and $48 million remaining on that contract, Delgado would save the Red Sox only ("only") $9 million (compared to Manny's $57 million) over the next three seasons. Someone like Cameron would run the team just $6 million for next season, and a $500,000 buyout for 2007.
No, you're not getting any younger. Delgado and Ramirez are both 33, their birth dates less than a month apart.
No, you're not getting what you need the most: pitching, a commodity that seems difficult to get teams to discuss when Manny's name comes up.
No, you're not getting a significant defensive upgrade: both players are average at best.
No, you're not replacing Manny with another righthanded bat to hit behind the lefty Ortiz.
Despite the drawbacks, Delgado seems such a semi-perfect fit for Boston, what with its need for a first baseman and to put the Manny Ramirez business behind them as quickly as possible this offseason. Delgado hit 33 home runs and drove in 115 last season with the Marlins, well below the 45 and 144 Ramirez put up, but Delgado had a better on-base percentage (.399 to .388) and his OPS was nearly identical (Delgado: .981, Ramirez: .982).
Balky knees have some AL teams (Seattle, Baltimore) inquiring in Delgado as a DH, a role he won't soon play here in Boston with Ortiz cemented into that slot. That's unquestionably of some concern, but no more than it was just a year ago when the Marlins threw $52 million at him to play first full-time in the National League. Delgado did have 14 errors last season, which would make an Edgar Renteria-to-Delgado combination something of an adventure.
Mets GM Omar Minaya, openly pining for Ramirez, would do wise to keep communication open with the Marlins for Delgado. If New York can swing a deal for the first baseman, it can either just stop there, or they could turn around and attempt to ship him to Boston for Ramirez. The Red Sox, in turn, could also push for Milledge in the deal, and all things considered, a top prospect and Delgado ain't such a bad return for one of the top sluggers in the game. Even the folks who included the words, "idiot," "jerk," and "garbage" in feedback that landed in the ol' Inbox this week have to admit that much at least.
Despite what seemed a surprisingly increasing market for Ramirez's services, let's be honest. The only likely destination for Manny is quite possibly in New York, chilling under Queens' finest imported mango trees with old buddy Pedro Martinez.
White Sox GM Kenny Williams said that Chicago isn't really Manny's kind of town. ''We have a certain kind of chemistry," he told the Sun-Times.
Anaheim, while Ramirez's preferred landing spot, and the team that could offer the Sox the best package in return, seems to be concentrating instead on free agent Paul Konerko, who would cost a draft pick rather than blue chips.
Minaya wants him badly. And if that's the only place he's going to land, then getting a player like Carlos Delgado, despite the obvious question marks, to replace Ramirez over the rest of the "B-squad" is the way to go.
"She can do more for the Dodgers than they can do for her," Adande writes. "Frank McCourt could be a modern-day Branch Rickey, letting Ng do for female executives what Jackie Robinson did for African American players. Ng has been around for four years, which would bring some much-needed stability to the team. She'd deflect attention from the rash of terminations. It's such an opportunity for women, she would almost have to take it if offered. But she deserves better than this."
True. But McCourt, after all the press he's received this week about considering Ng, almost HAS to hire her now, doesn't he? Otherwise, the reasons as to why he didn't are going to be posed a heck of a lot more than if he didn't hire the likes of John Hart.
Yeah, maybe not.