Saturday, November 18, 2006

Angels Have Inside Track to Acquire Manny Ramirez

Slugger Manny Ramirez has indicated to Red Sox GM Theo Epstein that he would not veto a trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as is his contractual right. Ramirez has been unhappy living in the tight quarters of Boston, and finds sprawling Los Angeles more to his liking. Talks between the Angels and Red Sox have been ongoing for two years, not so much ending as just cooling due in part to Epstein's demand for top young prospects plus a front-line starting pitcher such as Ervin "Magic" Santana. With Epstein's $51 million winning bid for the rights to negotiate with Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox will be flush with starters when (and if) D-Mat signs in the next three weeks. Thus Epstein's demands will moderate and possibly provide the break that both sides have been needing to finally consumate the Ramirez deal.