Obtain Manny Ramirez for LaRoche, Morris

The Dodgers shook baseball just before the trading deadline kicked in by swapping a pair of minor league players for the big bat of outfielder Manny Ramirez, an 11-time All-Star and a nine-time Sliver Slugger. They packaged infielder Andy LaRoche and former first round pick to obtain the power hitter they have been looking for.

Ken Gurnick, a veteran Dodger writer, called it "The most spectacular in-season acquisition in the 50-year history of the Los Angeles Dodgers."

LaRoche and Morris go to Pittsburgh in the deal and outfielder Jason Bay moves to Boston who sends two other prospects to the Pirates in the three-way swap.

Ramirez, 36, is a hired gun and will only be with the Dodgers over he final two months of the season. The Red Sox will pay the remaining $7 million of Ramirez's salary this season, but agent Scott Boras said the Dodgers, as a condition of the trade, agreed to decline a $20 million option on Ramirez for 2009. That will make Ramirez, a career .312 hitter with 510 home runs, a free agent after this season.

The Dodgers didn't veer away from their young movement although rumors had Matt Kemp going to Boston for Ramirez.

It looks like Los Angeles got the bat they thought they had in Andruw Jones. They apparently also got a pretty heavy amount of baggage that Torre will earn his money sorting through.

A former General Manager once told us that a trade like this is worth spending some prospects on -- if it works and the club can get into the playoffs. Otherwise, it might have bad repercussions down the line. But the Dodgers expenditure is relatively small, although LaRoche will be a fine major leaguer someday and Morris is an unknown quantity.

"He's one of the best four or five hitters in baseball," manager Joe Torre said when rumors of Ramirez to the Dodgers heated up. "I like him, yet he marches to his own drummer. I had him in the All-Star Game. I didn't think he would be available."

After an even 100 games, Ramirez has 20 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .299 average this season. He has 510 career home runs, one batting title and has led the American League in slugging percentage three time. He has a lifetime on-base percentage of .403 and a slugging average of .590.

Lest you wonder, Ramirez is not only a Fenway Park hitter. This season he has hit only eight of his 20 homers at home and his RBI have been split perfectly, 34-34 home and away. His overall average is .303 and he's hit .295 on the road.

Over the last five seasons the only defensive position he has played is left field, which will leave Torre with an crowded outfield of Ramirez, Kemp, Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones and Andre Ethier.

LaRoche was considered by many to be the best prospect in the organization a year ago, but injured his hand in spring training and hasn't had the extensive time enjoyed by Blake DeWitt to adjust to major league pitching.

Morris is a right-handed pitcher and former 2006 first-round pick who missed the entire 2007 season after undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament reconstruction surgery. In 2008 with Great Lakes, Morris was 2-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 17 starts. The Tullahoma, TN native recorded 72 strikeouts in 81.2 innings and limited opponents to a .247 average against.

  Ramirez's acquisition capped roster repairs that GM Ned Colletti has been working on most of the summer.

Rafael Furcal's back injury was partially covered when they acquired former American League Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa from Kansas City for Minor Leaguer Juan Rivera. Colletti also signed free agent Pablo Ozuna, who had been released by the White Sox.

On July 26 Colletti acquired Casey Blake from Cleveland for Minor Leaguers Jon Meloan and Carlos Santana. Blake is 7-for-17 with three doubles and four runs scored since the trade.

Ramirez had become increasingly disenchanted in recent weeks and his relations with club executives had soured. He let it be known he would waive his no-trade rights, and the Red Sox started working the phones.

Initially, the Red Sox had spoken to the Marlins and Pirates about a three-way deal but that fell apart in the early afternoon hours.

Ramirez was the first round pick of the Cleveland Indians in 1991. He was granted free agency in 2000 and signed with the Red Sox.

Manny Ramirez   br  tr  6-0  195
Born- May 30, 1972
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year	team   ave   gm   ab    r    h  2b 3b  hr  bi  sb
1993	Clev  .170   22   53    5    9   1  0   2    5  0
1994	Clev  .269   91  290   51   78  22  0  17   60  4  
1995	Clev  .308  137  484   85  149  26  1  31  107  6
1996	Clev  .309  152  550   94  170  45  3  33  112  8
1997	Clev  .328  150  561   99  184  40  2  26   88  2    
1998	Clev  .294  150  571  108  168  35  4  45  145  5 
1999	Clev  .333  147  522  131  174  34  3  44  165  2
2000	Clev  .351  118  439   92  154  34  2  38  122  1
2001	Bost  .306  142  529   93  162  33  2  41  125  0		     
2002	Bost  .349  120  436   84  152  31  0  33  107  0
2003	Bost  .325  154  569  117  185  36  1  37  104  3
1004	Bost  .308  152  568  108  175  44  0  43  130  2
2005	Bost  .292  152  554  112  162  30  1  45  144  1
2006	Bost  .321  130  449   79  144  27  1  35  102  0
2007	Bost  .296  133  483   84  143  33  1  20   88  0
2008	Bost  .299  100  365   66  109  22  1  20   68  1
              .312      7423      2318     18     1672
                    2050     1408      493    510      35 

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