Open Mic: Manny Eh? Ramirez For Bay Paying Dividends For All

Scott MaloneAnalyst IAugust 12, 2008

Well, the Red Sox finally did it. They traded Manny.

After years of deadline rumors that the Sox would trade Manny to Baltimore for Miguel Tejada, or for Alex Rodriguez, or any other variety of names, the Red Sox got Jason Bay from the Pittsburgh Pirates to take Manny's place in left field.

What the Red Sox got in the form of Bay, was a guy who is most likely happy to be out of Pittsburgh and in a pennant race for the first time in his career.

He runs everything out. He plays better defense. He does not have any "Jason-being-Jason" moments.

Instead, he will be able to produce in one of the best lineups in baseball, with the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia or Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and J.D. Drew all in front of him.

Considering what he has been able to do in Pittsburgh: hit .280 or better, with 20-35 HR and 80-110 RBI in a much weaker lineup, his production has a chance to go through the roof in a talented lineup.

Comparing his numbers to Manny's more recent numbers, Bay is matching up well considering he had no protection with the Pirates.

Last season, both struggled. Bay hit just .247, with 21 HR and 82 RBI. Manny also had a bad year by his standards, hitting .296, with 22 HR and 80 RBI.

In 2006, both put up almost identical numbers, with Bay producing a .286 AVG, with 35 HR, 109 RBI, and over 100 walks, while Manny put up a .321 AVG, with 35 HR and 102 RBI. 

Another reason that the Red Sox accepted this trade was definitely because Jason Bay is seven years younger than Manny, but Bay also is a good bargain for next year ($7.5 million) compared to Manny's $20 million option.

The loss of Manny means that the Red Sox will have freed up some money with which they can resign youngsters Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen, and Clay Buchholz, as well as Jason Varitek.

In addition, it frees up the possibility of money being available to resign Bay after next season, mainly because of the anticipated loss of Julio Lugo, who should be replaced by Jed Lowrie full time for next season.

Bay should be able to fit in nicely with this group of guys, and with management, as the show that is Manny Ramirez has left Boston, which is allowing the organization to exhale and enjoy the chase.

Terry Francona was quoted as saying, "After our first team meeting, we felt like we had a true team of 25 guys, all with the same goal in mind."

Although the Red Sox acquired Bay, they had to give up promising youngsters Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen.

Moss got the short end of the stick in Boston, mainly because he was the fifth outfielder behind Manny, Coco Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew. As a result he was not able to get a lot of playing time.

He has been starting everyday in Pittsburgh thus far, and has made some impressive flashes of leather. While his hitting has struggled a little bit thus far with the Pirates, it will certainly turn around as he gets used to facing the new pitchers in the NL.

Hansen was destined to be the Sox's future closer back before they found Jonathan Papelbon. However, the discovery of Papelbon and his lack of consistent control have made Hansen lose his high ranked prospect status.

His poor control has already reared its ugly head in Pittsburgh, as he has allowed 6 walks in just 4.2 IP as a Pirate, without any strikeouts.

Nevertheless, Moss and Hansen will eventually become good players for the Buccos.

And as for Manny, he was last seen missing in the top of the ninth in Monday's home game against the Phillies.

His excuse?

"I had to go to the bathroom".

Maybe they should just build a green monster in Dodger Stadium anyway.