Anaheim tops Ramirez's trade list

Carlos Beltran Beltran

Manny Ramirez Ramirez

The Red Sox did throw out the idea of a Manny Ramirez-Carlos Beltran deal in July, but it was on the weekend of the trading deadline after Ramirez had asked to be traded.

The Mets rejected the idea, and GMs Omar Minaya and Theo Epstein tried to construct two-, three-, and four-way deals -- none of which worked. "The ironic thing is that by the end of the weekend, Manny said he would not go to the Mets," says Ramirez's agent Greg Genske of Legacy Sports Group. "I know people have speculated about Pedro [Martinez] and his influence, but Manny does not want to be traded to the Mets."

And, anyway, the Red Sox say they have not offered the superstar outfielder to the Mets -- or anyone -- as of now. Genske plans to meet with Boston owner John Henry next week in Florida, and after that meeting some determination will be made on whether Ramirez will repeat his July request to be traded, or the team will see what it can get on the market, with the knowledge that as a 10-5 player, Ramirez can veto any deal.

If Ramirez does request to be traded, Genske says "his preference would be Anaheim. He also still loves Cleveland, and would go back there." Another possibility would be Arizona, if Boston would take some of the contracts the Diamondbacks are trying to move, including Troy Glaus and Luis Gonzalez. Texas was in play at the deadline.

The problem is that if the Red Sox baseball operations had their way, the only way Ramirez would be traded is if they could restock themselves with a young corner outfielder, a center fielder and pitching. Their feeling is that with so much money floating around the industry and so few quality free agents, Ramirez's contract -- three years remaining at a present-day value of slightly more than $17 million -- will not be that bad come spring training. Also, while Ramirez is unpredictable and sometimes had hustle lapses, he has played 150 or more games three straight seasons, bettered in Red Sox history by only Frank Malzone (7), Carl Yastrzemski (5), Jim Rice and Dwight Evans (4 each).