Hollywood, home to some of the greatest characters ever imagined, now will be the setting for Manny Being Manny.
The Los Angeles Dodgers stepped in just seconds before Thursday's trade deadline and scooped up one of the greatest sluggers of this generation, acquiring Manny Ramirez from Boston as part of a three-way deal in which the Red Sox acquired outfielder Jason Bay from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources told CBSSports.com.
In return for Bay, sources say, Pittsburgh will receive right-handed pitcher Craig Hansen and outfielder Brandon Moss from the Red Sox. Also, the Dodgers will send third baseman Andy LaRoche and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris to the Pirates.
The trade put a cap on what had become a round-the-clock effort by Boston to move their disgruntled superstar, and the Dodgers' late entrance allowed the Red Sox to salvage hours' worth of work on a three-way trade that as of late Wednesday night included the Red Sox, Pittsburgh and Florida.
The Marlins, though, refused to part with two key prospects -- Triple-A pitcher Ryan Tucker and Class A outfielder Mike Stanton, a stance that nearly derailed the entire thing, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
Determined to rid themselves of Ramirez, though, who early this week blasted the club for mistreating him and former players Nomar Garciaparra, now a teammate again, and Pedro Martinez, the Red Sox turned toward Los Angeles, and at quite a cost. Not only did the Red Sox send Ramirez west, they agreed to pay the roughly $7 million remaining on his 2008 contract, and they sent two prospects to the Pirates.
Furthermore, the Dodgers have agreed to not pick up the $20 million club option for 2009 on Ramirez's contract, allowing the slugger to become a free agent this winter.
"When a player like Manny becomes available, I don't think there's a manager in baseball who wouldn't say they're interested," said Dodgers skipper Joe Torre, whose Yankees teams went toe-to-toe with Ramirez for years. "It was something that happened very quickly, obviously."
Hansen, a former star at St. John's University, was Boston's first-round pick in the 2005 draft -- though he hasn't established himself as a top-flight prospect since. Moss, a lefty-hitting outfielder, was rated as the 11th-best prospect in Boston's system heading into this season by Baseball America.
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For Boston, though, the trade brings to an end what was quickly becoming an untenable situation for general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona. Ramirez took himself out of the lineup for last weekend's series opener with the New York Yankees, loafed to first base during John Lackey's near no-hitter this week and had become a divisive presence.
For the Dodgers, his acquisition immensely improves their lineup -- and it overloads them with outfielders. The Dodgers now have Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre and the highly disappointing Andruw Jones in addition to Ramirez vying for at-bats.
"You wish you had the DH," Torre said. "We didn't plan in advance how to move things around."
Ramirez is the second key player the Dodgers have acquired in the past week, and the second subsidized player. Despite the Dodgers' $118 million opening day payroll, they persuaded Cleveland to pay the $2 million owed to infielder Casey Blake in last week's trade and now they're receiving some $7 million from Boston to pay for Manny.
However much it cost them, though, the Red Sox definitely view this as addition by subtraction. In Bay, they're receiving a player viewed as a good teammate who was hitting .282 with 22 homers and 64 RBI for the Pirates. He is expected to slide into the left-field vacancy created by Ramirez -- and he is not expected to disappear into the Green Monster to relieve himself during a pitching break anytime soon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.