It looks like the Red Sox have finally called Manny's bluff and pulled the trigger on a trade sending him out of Beantown.
According to multiple reports, the Sox agreed to a three-team trade with the Dodgers and the Pirates. The Sox sent Manny to L.A., Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen to the Pirates. Pittsburgh sent Jason Bay to the Sox. The Dodgers sent Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris to Pittsburgh.
Ortiz and Bay doesn't seem quite as frightening as Ortiz and Manny in the middle of that lineup, but maybe there's something to be said for getting rid of a clubhouse cancer. Francona may actually be able to make an issue out of things like not running balls out with the rest of his roster, finally. Bay has put up great numbers so far in Pittsburgh, so we'll see how he adjusts to playing in a real league, in front of the Monster.
As for Manny and his new skipper, well, who knows. Joe is pretty laid back, I doubt we'll see him going to the press about Manny. There's even a chance Manny acts like a model citizen for the rest of the season, or at least as close to a model citizen as he's capable of being. Joe will handle it. Larry Bowa, on the other hand, is going to blow a gasket. I'm looking forward to that aspect of it.
So, has this move changed things in the A.L. East? I don't know. If Ortiz isn't fully-recovered from his wrist injury, it doesn't matter who's batting behind him. If he is, will Bay be enough protection to make pitchers fear pitching around Ortiz? My gut says no.
The most important thing about this move is that the Sox spent the trade deadline dealing with a problem, and probably making a lateral move, at best. They didn't address any of their needs. They didn't improve anything but their harmony, possibly. Off the field, you have to say the Yanks did more than anyone else in the division to further their chances of coming out on top.
The Yanks also made a minor move
, sending Alberto Gonzalez to the Nationals for AA pitcher, Jhonny Nunez. I'll miss the AG, this move doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If Jeter gets hurt, who plays short, Betemit? A-Rod?