A team source laughed at the notion that the Phillies were the "front-runner" in the sweepstakes to land the enigmatic Red Sox slugger, as reported by SI.com. The team's source called SI.com's story "untrue" and added that the Phillies aren't involved in talks to land Ramirez.
The story didn't say which players would be heading to Boston for Ramirez, who has been quoted as saying that he would approve a trade to leave the defending World Series champions. Since Ramirez plays left field, Pat Burrell would either have to shift to right or be included in the deal.Burrell would have to waive his full no-trade clause to be dealt, something he has previously refused to do. The addition of Ramirez would not only improve an already feared lineup, it would also reunite Ramirez with manager Charlie Manuel, who was Ramirez's hitting coach in Cleveland. Ramirez is earning $20 million this season, and his contract has two club options at $20 million per season for 2009 and 2010.
Another trade rumor involving Kansas City's Ron Mahay made the rounds Tuesday, with the Phillies sending Double-A shortstop Jason Donald to acquire the lefty reliever. In a span of a few hours, the teams went from having "extensive conversations" to "not close," according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, who cited a source with knowledge of Philadelpha's trade discussions.The Phillies are exploring many trade avenues for a left-handed reliever, with Pittsburgh's John Grabow, San Francisco's Jack Taschner and Toronto's Jesse Carlson or Brian Tallet among possible options.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.