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.
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.
Interesting to note that the under-utilized Heilman might’ve been a key component in this trade. And it would be just the Mets kind of luck if Milledge were hit by a bus Monday afternoon. Unless there’s something else in the works that involves Braden Looper and a one-way plane ticket, I have a hard time imagining Tampa Bay and New York working out a seperate deal for Baez.