So far, everything has just been peachy for Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles. In 6 games, he’s hitting .565 with 4 HRs and 9 RBIs, a power spike that happened far too rare in Boston this year. And this hot start is exactly why, according to Dan Shaughnessy of the BOSTON GLOBE, the MLB is investigating the trade.
You see, Shaughnessy’s “sources” in the commissioner’s office believe that this sudden outburst by high-level play by Manny is proof positive he was only half-trying in Boston, using his poor performance as leverage to force a trade. And if that’s true, then by golly, it’s time for them to do some ol’ fashioned investigatin’!
Feeling a little duped, Red Sox Nation? Still wondering if this whole thing was on the level?
You are not alone. The commissioner’s office is investigating the circumstances of Manny’s final hours with the Red Sox. The Globe has learned (from a source with direct knowledge of the inquiry) that Bud Selig directed Major League Baseball executive vice president Rob Manfred to contact all parties for an explanation of how things unfolded around last week’s trading deadline. According to the source, Manfred has yet to report back to the commissioner.
Here’s why Selig’s office is looking into the matter:
The Red Sox had an option to retain Ramírez in 2009 for $20 million. They had the same option for 2010. Ramírez, who will turn 37 next season, wanted to be a free agent at the end of this season. His agent wanted the same thing. [Scott] Boras inherited Ramírez’s old contract and stood to earn nothing until Manny signed a new one. It was in the interest of the player and the agent to have the options dropped.
Manny’s only leverage was withholding services and playing at half speed. So that’s what he did.
It’s going to be tough to prove this one either way; Scott Boras doesn’t seem like the type to be caught on tape saying something like “You can keep Manny’s options, as long as you realize his throat has been acting up and he might need a few months, or years, to rest.”
Funny thing is, the Red Sox are probably better off now with Jason Bay than they were with Manny. Stay tuned.
*UPDATE*: The LA TIMES is reporting that the commissioner’s office is calling bunk on Shaughnessy’s sources, claiming they are not investigating any wrongdoing. Scott Boras himself called the whole thing “completely inaccurate”. That’s Dan for you. Carry on.