Manny a match for the Marlins?

Hearing some of the players’ comments about Manny Ramirez today, I’m convinced that this time the Sox really do want to get rid of him. However, it is looking like all the aforementioned suitors have dropped out of the Manny sweepstakes; but at the last minute, there has appeared a dark horse- the Florida Marlins. Say what? The Marlins whose whole payroll makes less than Manny does? Yeah, those guys. WEEI 850 just reported that the Sox and Marlins are trying to hammer out a deal as we speak. Not that it’s close or anything, but it could happen. It’s actually not THAT crazy, as they signed Carlos Delgado and have been in on big names in the past, like Alfonso Soriano.

For a replacement outfielder, my gut reaction was to think of Josh Willingham, who has been kind of rotting on the Marlins’ bench while the younger guys have gotten playing time. He’s a solid right-handed hitter who knows how to get on base and has some decent pop. Ken Rosenthal also speculated on him recently, unbeknownst to me.

In an article last night, Baseball Prospectus dropped the names Jeremy Hermida and Jeff Allison (a Peabody native) last night as being mentioned. If indeed the Sox are willing to foot the $7M bill for Manny, that could make some sense. Hermida is a young outfielder with a one of the sweetest left-handed swings in the Majors. He is athletic, smart, plays good defense and has a pretty good arm. He’s exactly the type of balanced player Theo dreams about at night, and I’d be thrilled to get him here. Both Hermida and Williingham are also just entering his arbitrationbn years, meaning they could fill the left field position for a while for us. That’s all great.

The only problem is this: Swapping out Manny for either of those guys is good for team chemistry, but it simply makes the team worse. Just ask any pitcher who they would rather face, and you’ll see what I mean. It’d be great to get Allison here, but he’s at high-A now; he’s not gonna help us this year. A contending team like Boston should not take a step backwards at the deadline. So the question is, is it that important to remove Ramirez from the clubhouse, that our offense should take a significant hit? The only way it makes sense to me is if we also significantly bolster our bullpen, and I don’t see anyone on the Marlins who could do that, short of Kevin Gregg, their closer. Let’s see what the front office decides.


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