Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dodgers Nab Manny Ramirez At Trade Deadline

Say what you will about Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, but his desire to win cannot be questioned. Since he has been holding the wallet, LA has shown a willingness to spend money-- even if some of the spending has been ill-advised (i.e. Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones).

And now with the opportunity to acquire one of the top 5 hitters in the game-- even if it's only for a few months--the Dodgers pulled the trigger just before the deadline in hopes of not just making the playoffs, but being a serious contender once they get there.

Even with Ramirez set to be a free-agent in the off-season, the deal was still a no-brainer when you think about it. The Dodgers part ways with a struggling Andy LaRoche and a minor league pitcher, while the Red Sox will still pay the remainder of the contract for Ramirez this season.

So, enjoy it while you can, Dodger fans. Ramirez in Dodger Blue won't last long, but it could be one memorable ride.


Dodgers send infielder Andy LaRoche and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris to the Red Sox;
Pittsburgh acquires LaRoche, Morris, outfielder Brandon Moss, and right-handed pitcher Craig Hansen from Boston in exchange for outfielder Jason Bay

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired 12-time All-Star Manny Ramirez and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for infielder Andy LaRoche and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.

Following the trade, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired LaRoche, Morris, outfielder Brandon Moss, and right-hander Craig Hansen from Boston in exchange for outfielder Jason Bay.

A 12-time American League All-Star, including each of the last 11 seasons, Ramirez has won nine AL Silver Slugger Awards during his 16 Major League seasons. The 36-year-old is a career .312 hitter with 493 doubles, 510 home runs, and 1,672 RBI in 2,050 games with Cleveland (1993-2000) and Boston (2001-2008). He was the AL batting champ in 2002 with a .349 average and the 2004 AL home run champ with 43.

Ramirez ranks 23rd on baseball’s all-time home run list, and is one of only 11 players in baseball history with at least 11 seasons with 30 or more homers (1995-96, 1998-2006). He has also hit at least 20 home runs in 14 straight seasons, including a career-high 45 in 1998 with Cleveland and 2005 with Boston.

Ramirez won two World Series championships with Boston in 2004 and 2007, and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player in 2004. The Dominican Republic native is a veteran of nine postseasons overall, including four World Series. He also played in the 1995 and 1997 Fall Classics with Cleveland. Ramirez is baseball’s all-time post-season home run leader with 24, and ranks second with 64 RBI.

Among active players, Ramirez ranks third in RBI, fifth in home runs, sixth in on-base percentage (.409), and seventh in batting average. He also ranks eighth in baseball history, and second among active players behind only Albert Pujols (.620), with a .590 slugging percentage. His 2,318 hits rank 10th among active players, while his 493 doubles are tied for fourth.

Ramirez ranks 23rd on baseball’s all-time RBI list with 1,672. He has logged at least 100 RBI in 11 seasons, including nine straight campaigns from 1998-2006. Since “RBI” became an official statistic in 1920, only eight players in history have recorded nine consecutive seasons of at least 100 RBI. Ramirez has 1,300 RBI since the start of the 1998 season, trailing only Alex Rodriguez (1,340) among all Major Leaguers in that time. Ramirez’s 401 home runs in that same span rank third, behind only Rodriguez (477) and Sammy Sosa (402).

Ramirez leaves Boston ranking fifth in franchise history with 274 home runs and a .411 on-base percentage. He also ranks fourth in Red Sox history with a .588 slugging percentage and sixth with 868 RBI.

Ramirez, who graduated from George Washington High School in Bronx, New York in 1991, hit .299 with 22 doubles, 20 homers, and 68 RBI in 100 games with the Red Sox in 2008. He hit career homer No. 500 on May 31 at Baltimore, accomplishing the feat in his 7,263rd at-bat, eighth fewest all-time. Ramirez was originally selected by the Indians as the 13th overall pick of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He then signed with Boston as a free agent on December 13, 2000.

The 24-year-old LaRoche, who was selected by the Dodgers in the 39th round of the 2003 draft, hit .217 with three homers and 16 RBI in 62 games with Los Angeles over the last two seasons. He is batting .294 with 95 homers and 331 RBI in 494 minor league games. LaRoche played 27 games with the Dodgers in 2008, batting .203 with two homers and six RBI. He is hitting a combined .284 with five homers and 27 RBI in 42 games this season with Las Vegas of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and Jacksonville of the Double-A Southern League.

Morris, 21, was the second of two first-round picks (26th overall) of the Dodgers in the 2006 draft, and is 6-9 with a 4.16 ERA in 30 professional starts. After missing the entire 2007 season due to “Tommy John” ligament-replacement surgery, he is 2-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 16 starts this year with Great Lakes of the Single-A Midwest league.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, pioneers in sport and world culture, are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2008. In that period, they have won more games, more pennants, and more World Series than any other club in the National League. Since the start of the modern era in baseball, the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, combined, have a cumulative attendance of more than 177 million, the highest total in the history of baseball or any other sport.

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