In what could be the second-largest trade in Major League Baseball history, reports are flying that the Marlins could be shipping stars Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell to Boston in exchange for the Red Sox's Carl Crawford. USA Today is reporting the trade, and apparently the deal may come down to whether the team thinks they can make the playoffs this year or would rather rebuild around a player like Crawford next year.
The combined contracts of the three players involved in the potential deal is $239 million. Only the deal that sent Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees back in 2004 involved contracts worth more.
For Ramirez it would be a return to Boston. He played two games with the team in 2005 but was traded to the Marlins in 2006. He was one of the Marlins' few bright spots for the few seasons before they made their move to the new stadium. Bell, meanwhile, was brought in this year but has failed to deliver on his big contract and promise.
Crawford, a left fielder, meanwhile is a four-time All-Star and spent the first 8 years of his career in Florida with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington tells USA Today that the team is not actively shopping Crawford around, but also reports the Marlins VP Dan Jennings is currently in Boston scouting him.
The biggest impediment to a deal, according to one of the officials, is the Marlins' indecision whether to unload their high-paid players and abandon playoff hopes for this season and build for next season, or try to overcome the nine-game deficit they face in the NL East and 5½ games they trail for an NL wild-card berth.
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The team is also believed to be exploring trades involving Omar Infante, Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez.
Jeez, the last time the team was looking to dump so much talent so fast they at least had the decency to win a World Series first. It appears the team is realizing its clumsy attempt to build a competitor practically overnight to compliment its move into a new stadium isn't working.