From Buster Olney's blog:
Manny Ramirez quit on the Red Sox, writes Gordon Edes, who says it's time for Boston to dump the left fielder.
If the Red Sox decided to trade Ramirez, this could be an optimal time, actually. There are many teams intent on adding a hitter this winter, from the Houston Astros to the Chicago Cubs to the San Diego Padres to the Baltimore Orioles to the Angels. There will be teams interested in making a deal for Ramirez.
But at some point, the Red Sox have to get comfortable with the notion that they'll probably only get something close to 40 cents on the dollar in value on Ramirez. Teams are going to tell the Red Sox: OK, we'll take Ramirez and the last two years of his contract, but you guys are going to have to eat at least half of the $38 million still owed to him, because, let's face it, he's not the most reliable guy ever. If he was, you guys wouldn't have looked to deal him two or three times before. And while we might give you guys a Grade B prospect for him, we're not going to give you any A-plus prospects for him.
In other words, the Red Sox are going to have to pay for the right to give him away. And that is going to be a very hard thing for Boston to swallow, considering how great of a player he is when he's actually on the field, how much protection he provides for David Ortiz.
Here's the question Theo Epstein is going to have to ask himself: Is Ramirez such a distraction, and a problem, that we need to dump him, no matter the cost? Edes, who knows the Red Sox clubhouse far better than I do, seems to think that is the case.
I don't know the answer. But you can assume that Theo will talk to Jason Varitek and Curt Schilling and Ortiz about that very subject as he looks for a solution. The word around baseball is that other Red Sox players are very unhappy with Manny being Manny these days.