The rumors will not die.
Someone must have reminded re-hired Theo Epstein what his job entails.
Menawhile, Arte Moreno's GM, Bill Stoneman, has sat back chuckling, in no hurry to trade, pushing the party line that the Angels are set and happy with what they have got.
Months ago I called this a high stakes poker move, Bill turning to Boston's Larry Lucchhiinno and saying I Check.
So John Henry, Boston's owner, rehires Theo to play a hand with Bill Stoneman. And Bill checks again.
Beantown's Clown Footwear Team is going to get nervous and they are going to blink.
Point is, they cannot get the value for Manny Ramirez in terms of players. Manny's contract is a liability and his known desire to leave the team puts the Bosox in a weakened trading position.
Bill Stoneman will not trade a player of the caliber of Brandon Wood, Howie Kendrick, Jered Weaver or Ervin Santana to Boston for Manny Ramirez.
I could see a few of the Angels Major League players on the block: Chone Figgins, Adam Kennedy, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Rivera.
Darin Erstad has a no-trade clause for four teams that reportedly includes the Red Sox. He lists the four teams to which he will not go at the start of each Spring Training. One year it included the Dodgers. Another year, both New York teams were on it. Both Canadian teams were regularly on it (perhaps indicating an abhorrence of the tax code up North). This trade could be waiting for him to turn in the loose-leaf slip to the principal on February 28.
How about making it a trade of TWO players from the Red Sox? Mike Lowell is owed $8 million this season and next. How about Manny and Mike for Edgardo Alfonzo, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Rivera and Dallas McPherson.
Boston gets one year of the Alfonzo salary dump, three years at $8 million of the RSNation-approved Cabrera, an outfielder in his prime in Rivera and a great (and affordable) ML-seasoned prospect in McPherson.
The Angels trade $37 million of contracts plus pre-arbitration McPherson for three years of Manny, two years of overpaid but serviceable Mike Lowell for a net cost of $46 million.
Now, I can see them throwing in a pitching prospect like Steve Shell or Chris Bootcheck or Greg Jones, a B List hitting/defender like Mike Napoli or Tommy Murphy, or one more bubble-veteran-contributor like Brendan Donnelly, but pretty much, the above trade outline is my final offer.
Oh, and Theo, when it is July and the Red Sox are 14 games back in the East, Stoneman is not going to be offering so much sweetness for the New England rebuilding project...