Red Sox trade Ramirez to Dodgers

Aug 1, 2008 - 5:59 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Red Sox apparently grew tired of Manny being Manny.

The Red Sox traded disgruntled slugger Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and received Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jason Bay in a three-team deal completed minutes prior to Thursday's non-waiver deadline.

The Pirates received reliever Craig Hansen and outfielder Brandon Moss from the Red Sox. Pittsburgh also acquired third baseman Andy LaRoche and minor-league pitcher Bryan Morris from the Dodgers.

According to multiple reports, the Red Sox will pay the remaining $7 million on Ramirez's contract for this season. Ramirez also reportedly received a $1 million relocation fee from the Red Sox.

The deal came one day after Ramirez criticized the Red Sox and claimed that he had been mistreated by the defending World Series champs in an interview with ESPNDeportes.

Now Ramirez is headed to the Dodgers (54-53), who are one game behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West Division.

Ramirez joins a Dodgers club that already has a crowded outfield of Matt Kemp, Juan Pierre, Andre Ethier and Andruw Jones, who has battled injuries and poor play throughout his first season in Los Angeles.

But Dodgers manager Joe Torre should have no problem playing Ramirez in an offensively-challenged lineup that ranks in the bottom five in the majors in runs, home runs and slugging percentage.

"Manny, in his own right, is certainly special," Torre said. "I think he will do a lot for everybody's personality for one, and also the fact that you certainly don't want to pitch to Manny with men on base - chances are the guys hitting in front of him will get some good pitches to hit."

In Los Angeles, Ramirez will be reunited with former Red Sox teammates Derek Lowe and Nomar Garciaparra, who also was dealt in surprising fashion at the 2004 deadline.

Garciaparra, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2004 and signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2006 season. His tenure in Boston ended unceremoniously, in remarkably similar fashion to Ramirez's departure.

Lowe, who has received just nine runs of support in his nine losses this season, is happy to once again be on the same team as a player he considers to be one of the best hitters in the majors.

"He's a special player," Lowe said. "I say when I was there, he was probably the best right-handed hitter I've ever seen playing on a consistent basis. He's that good. It was a great pickup."

Ramirez, 36, began publicly addressing his situation with the Red Sox earlier this month during the All-Star break. He questioned the team's intentions regarding the $20 million club options on his contract for 2009 and 2010, intimating that Boston had been dishonest with him.

Red Sox owner John Henry responded angrily to Ramirez's comments, saying that he found them "personally offensive."

It was the latest incident in what has been a rollercoaster relationship between the Red Sox and Ramirez, who arrived in Boston prior to the 2001 season after signing an eight-year contract worth $160 million.

The 36-year-old Ramirez belted 274 home runs with the Red Sox and was an integral member of two World Series championship teams in Boston, including the 2004 squad that ended an 86-year drought without a title.

But Ramirez clashed with Red Sox management on multiple occasions since 2003, when the team's new management placed the outfielder on waivers in an attempt to dump his contract.

Prior to this season, Ramirez also had requested to be traded during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

Despite his conflicts with the front office, Ramirez was a wildly popular player among Red Sox players and fans. He often raised eyebrows and elicited chuckles for his peculiar behavior, which often was referred to as "Manny being Manny."

Some of his more notable antics included an inexplicable cut off of a relay throw from center field that allowed an opposing player to complete an inside-the-park home run, carrying a water bottle in his back pocket during games and frequently disappearing into the Green Monster at Fenway Park during pitching changes.

But Ramirez's lackadaisical approach occasionally angered Red Sox Nation, particularly when he failed to hustle while running the bases or in the outfield.

However, Ramirez undoubtedly has been one of the best offensive players of his generation. The 12-time All-Star is a career .312 hitter with 510 home runs and 1,672 RBI in 16 seasons with Boston and the Cleveland Indians. He has eclipsed 30 homers and 100 RBI in 11 different seasons.

Ramirez is batting .299 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI in 100 games this season, which will go down as a memorable swan song in Boston.

Ramirez was involved in separate incidents this season, getting involved in a dugout shoving match with teammate Kevin Youkilis and pushing the team's traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground in the clubhouse.

Ramirez also reached a pair of milestones by hitting his 500th homer and, on Monday night, he belted his 20th of the season, making him the eighth player in history to hit 20 homers in 14 consecutive campaigns.

The 29-year-old Bay will be counted on to fill the power void left by Ramirez in Boston's lineup. Bay is batting .282 with 22 homers and 64 RBI.

A two-time All-Star, Bay joins a Boston lineup that already features Youkilis and fellow All-Stars David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Dustin Pedroia.

"If it's Boston or wherever it might be, that's the silver lining, a little bit of sweet," Bay said Wednesday night. "At this time of year, I would definitely like to be part of that atmosphere."

The Red Sox (61-48) have struggled of late, losing five of their last six contests to fall three games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays (63-44) in the AL East.

The rebuilding Pirates received a trio of young players in Hansen, Moss and LaRoche, all 24 years old.

The righthanded Hansen went 1-3 with a 5.58 ERA in 32 appearances for Boston this season while Moss batted .295 with two homers and 11 RBI in 34 games.

LaRoche, once considered a top prospect with the Dodgers, batted just .203 with two homers and six RBI during an injury-plagued season for Los Angeles.

Morris, 21, went 2-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 17 starts for Class A Great Lakes this season.

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