Shocking news. Despite persistent reports that a deal was exceedingly unlikely, the Boston Red Sox have at long last traded idiot savant slugger Manny Ramirez. Manny is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way deal that will land Pittsburgh’s Jason Bay in Boston, with the Dodgers’ Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris and Boston’s Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss headed to the Pirates.
While it doesn’t seem the Mets were ever seriously in pursuit of Ramirez (despite the urgings of this blogger), you can officially cross he and Bay off the list of available corner outfielders now. In fact, it appears that Mets GM Omar Minaya was unable to find reinforcements of any kind on deadline day. Disappointing to say the least.
The Yankees, meanwhile, have catapulted from pretenders to contenders in just over a week’s time. My head is spinning.
The Yanks are a bit pudgier than they were a day ago, addressing their hole behind the dish by acquiring Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for erratic reliever Kyle Farnsworth. It will be Kyle’s second tour of duty with the Tigers, for whom he pitched in 2005. Presumably, this means Brandon Inge will be seeing a ton of time at catcher for the revamped Tigers.
While the Yankees are thrilled with the job that Jose Molina has done behind the plate this season in the absence of Jorge Posada, Molina is not accustomed to playing every day, thus the need to add another catcher.
The addition of Rodriguez is another steal for the Yanks, who acquired Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte for toenail clippings a few days ago, and today add a starting catcher in exchange for a guy many would consider addition by subtraction.
Pudge is batting .295 this season with five home runs and 32 RBIs in …
All is not well in Red Sox Nation. After missing the final game of the team’s series in Seattle with a “sore knee,” Boston’s enigmatic cleanup hitter Manny Ramirez opted to miss Friday night’s pivotal game (is there any other kind?) against the rival Yankees as well, raising questions as to whether Ramirez is actually injured, or looking to stick it to Sox management for the latest feud involving Manny Being Manny.
But is this really Manny Being Manny, or is this something more? While Manny has publicly stated his desire to remain in Boston – for a change – he has also incited a near-brawl in the dugout with teammate Kevin Youkilis, got in a physical altercation with the team’s 60-year-old traveling secretary, been accused of intentionally striking out against the Yanks’ Mariano Rivera in the teams’ last faceoff, and personally offended the team’s ownership with comments at the All-Star …
Only a few hours after a published report in the Daily News indicated that the Mets had targeted Casey Blake, Raul Ibanez, and Jason Bay in their search for a corner outfield bat, you can scratch one of those names off the list. The Los Angeles Dodgers have acqired Blake from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for two prospects, catcher Carlos Santana and RHP Jon Meloan.
Blake, a free agent at the end of the year, started off slowly this season, but has rebounded nicely, compiling a .289 average with 11 HR and 58 RBI.
Of all the players on the market, Blake was the one that this blogger most coveted. Sure, an Xavier Nady reunion would have been nice, and it will sting to see the X-Man in pinstripes, but one had to figure that the Pirates would be asking for an arm and a leg for either of Nady or Bay, leaving Blake and Ibanez as two competent and affordable …
According to Yankees blogging guru and Journal News beat writer Peter Abraham, Jorge Posada is not in the starting lineup tonight, and could be done for the season.
Word is that Posada is headed to the DL as he continues to struggle with a torn lambrum in his throwing shoulder. Anyone who’s watched a Yankees game this season knows that teams are running on Posada in epic, Mike Piazza-like quantities. Posada has already missed time once this season in order to rehab the injury, and it sounds like the 36-year-old veteran hopes to take that route again with an eye on returning as a DH/ first baseman and backup catcher. He will meet with Dr. David Altcheck tomorrow to determine if further rehab is even an option, or whether the shoulder requires season-ending surgery. If surgery is required, Posada would be putting the 2009 season in jeopardy were he to delay the procedure until the offseason.
You hear that noise? It’s Brian …
According to multiple reports, the Yankees have reached a “tentative agreement” (whatever that means) with slugger Richie Sexson, whose acquisition Rob Abruzzese was pleading for just last week.
The righty Sexson brings along a .344 average with five homers in 61 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season. The Yanks, who have been overloaded with lefties since trading away Gary Sheffield a year and a half ago, were in desperate need of a righty stick. The need to add another bat was exacerbated this week with the news that Hideki Matsui could be headed for knee surgery.
Defensively, Sexson is an upgrade over Jason Giambi at first base and could start there against lefties, possibly as soon as tonight when the Yankees take on A’s starter Greg Smith.
It’s a low risk move for the Yankees, who will be paying the slugger roughly $160,000 for his services and can easily release him if he disappoints in pinstripes. The question now becomes, are …
Surprising? Not exactly. After all, it was over a year ago that we wrote in this space that Alex Rodriguez and wife Cynthia seemed on a collision course with splitsville in the wake of A-Rod’s well-publicized philandering. Who woulda thunk that Madonna, of all people, would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. But wait, there’s more. This is where Lenny Kravitz comes into the mix.
Kravitz is letting Cyn-Rod stay at his Paris home, though in a statement released by the formerly-popular rocker, there is nothing to the rumor of an affair between the pair, and Lenny is simply lending a helping hand to a friend in need. You can’t make this stuff up.
As a brief aside, I learned today that Madonna and A-Rod share a mutual agent. Why is that not remotely surprising?
Via the Daily News:
Kravitz said references to him as an adulterer …
According to TSN, the New York Rangers have traded defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche.
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Zherdev is a 23-year-old Russian right wing, drafted by Columbus in 2003 with the 4th overall pick. After a breakout ’05-’06 season in which the sniper recorded 27 goals and 27 assists, Zherdev was a bit of enigma to the Jackets in ’06-’07 when he scored just 10 goals and finished with 32 points. The kid’s slump was short-lived, however, as he bounced back last season, recording 26 goals and 35 assists.
Without question, Zherdev is the first-line scoring wing that the team so desperately sought to partner with center Scott Gomez. Does this mean the end of the Jaromir Jagr Era on Broadway? It sure looks that way, though the team technically still has the cap space to squeeze Jagr in – that is, if his feelings aren’t too badly hurt.
It certainly …
Marian Hossa is a Detroit Red Wing and I’m confused. According to TSN, Hossa agreed to one-year, $7.4 million contract today to join the defending Cup champs – the same Cup champs who ironically downed Hossa’s own Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals. The figure is evidently the most that the Wings organization is willing to pay a player, as they are committed to keeping Nicklas Lindstrom as the highest paid player on their roster. I guess Jaromir was on to something with that whole money and respect thing…
This is a baffling development to me. For starters, it’s unusual to see a team drop this amount of coin on a superstar player on the heels of bringing home the Stanley Cup. Moreover, I had heard nary a whisper of Detroit’s involvement in these negotiations before this news broke. Here’s what we did know: Pittsburgh was interested in retaining Hossa and had offered the winger a highly competitive …
Update: TSN says four years, $15.5 million.
Sean Avery is strapping on his spurs and heading to Dallas, where the Stars have agreed to lavish the professional pest with a four-year, $16 million deal. While it seems the Rangers were interested in bring Avery back, GM Glen Sather was unwilling to come anywhere near that exorbitant figure. As I’ve stated in the past, Avery is a guy who was denied his petition for a $2.6 million annual salary in arbitration last offseason and was instead awarded a one-year, $1.9 million pact. The notion that the diminutive winger is worth anywhere near $4 million annually is absurd, regardless of the Rangers’ win-loss record with and without him. Speaking of which, that win-loss record might not be so stark were Avery in the lineup every day. Avery missed a whopping 25 games last season due to injury.
We’ll miss you around here, Sean. Hell, I made a t-shirt design in your honor. But as we noted here yesterday, …
Well, it’s been weird. That’s the best way to describe this first day of free agency in the NHL. In New Jersey, where GM Lou Lamoriello began the day by retaining free agents Bryce Salvador and Jay Pandolfo, the next order of business was to bring back a pair of heroes from the team’s late-90s glory days.
Shortly after announcing that the team had signed former-Dev Brian Rolston to a 4-year, $20 million deal, the Devils put the final touches on a one-year, $2.5 million agreement with center Bobby Holik. Not exactly five-years and $45 million, but still good work if you can get it.
“Bobby is still one of the top size-strength forwards and will add size and strength to our center ice,” said Lamoriello.
I don’t recall “size and strength” being a glaring weakness during their five game series loss to the Rangers this past postseason, but evidently Lou felt it was, and who am I to question Lou?
The signing of Rolston is much …
According to TSN, the Rangers have signed 31-year-old Wade Redden to a six-year deal worth $6.5 million per. The deal comes just hours after the team announced it had re-signed Michal Rozsival to a four-year, $20 million contract.
Meanwhile, it was only moments ago that I got through telling you good people that Rozsival’s deal reduced the chances of the team adding another top-tier defenseman. I guess next time I should wait for these things to play out…
Redden should help fill a huge void on the blueline, where the Rangers have lacked a true point man for the powerplay since the NHL emerged from its lockout. Of course, the question becomes whether or not Redden can fill that void to the tune of $39 million. The answer? Probably not.
Redden’s 38 points last season tied him for 21st among NHL defenseman with Atlanta’s Tobias Enstrom and – guess who – the Rangers’ Michal Rozsival. Those aren’t numbers that cry out ‘SIX YEARS’ or ’39 MILLION’ to …