Manny Ramirez is headed to the Marlins! A deal is close! Sources are saying it’s only a matter of time! Here we go! Ready? And…. the deal is dead. The Red Sox sent him to L.A. instead.
Sad trombone sound
Okay, so the Manny to the Marlins thing didn’t happen. If you’re like me, your initial reaction to this bit of news was probably, “Holy monkey tits! What the hell happened?”
The headlines didn’t help either, proclaiming that the Marlins had failed to reel-in Ramirez (Get it? Reel-in? Because they’re Marlins. Oh the Kenny Bania-like hilarity!)
But this was far from being a failed attempt. It was a calculated decision. Manny isn’t in Florida because the Marlins chose not to pull the trigger. All indications are that, while he was willing to let Jeremy Hermida go, Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest refused to add prospects Mike Stanton and Ryan Tucker to sweeten the deal. These were the guys the Pirates reportedly were asking the Red Sox to get from the Marlins. But Beinfest is a real GM (unlike you and your buddies in that roto-fantasy league of yours). And he saw this as a raw deal.
Tucker is a 98-MPH-throwing pitcher currently working on his big league slider in the minors. Stanton is a power-hitting outfielder compared to Dave Winfield by Baseball America. Beinfest was willing to part with some young players for Manny’s services for two months. But there was no way he was going to part with these two studs-in-the-making.
He did, however, trade away 21-year old minor league pitcher Gaby Hernandez to acquire 38-year old left handed reliever Arthur Rhodes from Seattle. Wait. What? Yes, Hernandez is young and talented but he’s seen his ERA balloon to 7.24 in the minors this year with a stint on the DL thrown in for good measure. Rhodes, meanwhile, has been stellar this season, with a 2.86 ERA, and 26 Ks in 22 innings of work. Plus, Rhodes fills an immediate need for the Marlins – bullpen help.
So we went from Manny!!! Mania!!! to ending up with a 38-year old dude who Fredi Gonzalez will call upon whenever we face a left handed hitter in the 7th inning of some games.
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Sure we all had exciting visions of Manny hitting bombs out of Dolphin Stadium and having a popup fall between his ass crack or something crazy like that. And it was all for not. But Beinfest knows what he’s doing. If he thinks Stanton and Tucker are future stars, then chances are they will be. If he thinks Gaby Hernandez can be easily replaced, he will. If the Pirates and Sox were asking too much to get Manny to Miami, they were.
In the end, the Marlins stood pat. And that may have been the best move of all.
-- Chris Joseph