Report: Manny asks Sox to trade him

Report: Manny asks Sox again to trade him

BOSTON -- For the second time in 2005, Red Sox star slugger Manny Ramirez has asked for a trade.

According to Saturday's Boston Globe, Gene Mato, a representative of Ramirez, communicated the request to Red Sox owner John W. Henry.

Making the matter more complex is that Ramirez is a 10-5 player (10 years in the Major Leagues, five with one team), meaning he can essentially choose his next destination point. Ramirez has the right to veto any trade the Red Sox make involving him.

The Red Sox, as is their custom in maintaining the privacy of their players, did not confirm or deny Ramirez's request.

"Manny, his representatives, and the Red Sox have open lines of communication and will throughout the offseason," GM Theo Epstein told The Globe. "I think we all want whatever is in the club's best interest and Manny's best interest. [But] those conversations are private and completely confidential. For anyone to reveal the nature of those talks would be ridiculous. We have no comment."

Reports were also rampant back in July that Ramirez had asked to be traded, and Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino confirmed it at the time, citing that the left fielder was disenchanted with the lack of privacy that comes with playing in Boston.

Epstein explored a trade up through the July 31 trade deadline, and appeared to come close for a couple of times, but ultimately the Red Sox decided to hang on to the perennial All-Star.

In fact, moments after the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline expired, Ramirez got a dramatic game-winning pinch hit that day against the Twins, getting roars throughout Fenway Park. Ramirez excitedly pointed and smiled at the fans, not looking like a man who wanted to leave.

But countless times since joining the Red Sox for the 2001 season, Ramirez has had mood swings about his like or dislike for playing in Boston. That's why his latest request to be traded should be taken with caution, as it wouldn't be unheard of for the left fielder to change his mind again.

"It's just Manny being Manny," Sox ace Curt Schilling told reporters on Saturday in Medfield, Mass., where he was signing autographs to benefit Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

"It's another month and another month where everything happens. It's no big deal. It's happened every month I've been here."

Ramirez has three years remaining on the eight-year, $160 million contract that the previous ownership -- and former GM Dan Duquette -- signed him to in the winter of 2000.

There have been so many twists and turns regarding Ramirez that in a way, it's remarkable he's still with the Red Sox. After the 2003 season, the Red Sox placed Ramirez on waivers, meaning any team could have claimed him for a simple waiver fee and the balance of his contract.

A couple of months later, the Red Sox had agreed to a deal that would have sent Ramirez to the Rangers in a mega-swap for Alex Rodriguez in what would have been one of baseball's most historic trades. However, that deal fell apart when the Players Association wouldn't approve the restructuring of A-Rod's contract.

After saying he felt as if he had "nine toes in Texas," Ramirez was positively joyful in a Boston uniform for most of 2004, having a monster year and even being unusually open with the media. He was named MVP of the World Series, with the Red Sox winning it all for the first time since 1918.

Though Ramirez again put up huge numbers in 2005, his mood wasn't the same as it was in 2004. For one thing, he again froze out the media, making people wonder what had happened to diminish his happiness.

To Ramirez's credit, if he was unhappy in Boston, he had a terrific season, hitting .292 with 45 homers and 144 RBIs. In September, Ramirez put the Red Sox on his back, helping them to their third consecutive postseason berth.

Though the Red Sox were swept out of the Division Series, Ramirez did all he could, clubbing two homers in the final game against the White Sox.

Was that two-homer performance on Oct. 7 Ramirez's last hurrah in a Boston uniform? Time will tell.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.