Though this is a dreadful notion to Red Sox fans, it is quite possible, if not likely.
Given that Manny just turned down a one-year, $25M proposal from the Dodgers, it would hardly be a surprise if the free agent is sitting on a two-year offer from the Yankees that he's currently trying to leverage.
The conventional wisdom is that Manny doesn't have any options other than the Dodgers; no one truly believes the Giants will make a persuasive offer. Yet he must have gotten a better offer from some other team, and the Yankees are the most logical choice. They have a long history of stealthily swooping in, seemingly out of nowhere, and landing coveted free agents. Mark Teixeira was only the most recent example.
Don't think for a moment that the Yankees are dissuaded by their already crowded outfield; they would gladly trade both Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady if necessary, and would surely find takers for both. It's been reported that they've already fielded calls from interested teams regarding both players.
Signing Manny would be the perfect dagger for the Yanks to wield against to the Sox, and you know they would just love to stick it in and then slowly twist. Moreover, based on his own sort of twisted logic, Manny may feel exactly the same way.
There is little doubt that Theo and co. have considered this very possibility, if not probability. However, the rest of Red Sox Nation may not have fully considered what would be considered a nightmare scenario. Be prepared for a lot of pissing and moaning when/if such an event occurs.
The Teixeira heist (as perceived by Sox fans) was nothing. Manny in pinstripes will cause seizures and heart attacks all over New England, and beyond.
Don't be fooled, and don't be surprised; not even for a minute.
Addendum on the free agency signing process:
If there are between 39 and 62 Type A or Type B free agents available, each team can sign no more than three. Yet, there were more than 62 of these free agents that filed this winter (30 Type A's and 36 Type B's).
According to baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement, "If there are more than 62 such Players, the Club quotas shall be increased accordingly." However, it does not specify what exactly that increase would be.
Regardless of these limits, a team can sign as many Type A or B free agents as it has lost, even if those signings would put the team over the quota for that winter.
So far, the Yankees have lost:
Bobby Abreu - Type A
Mike Mussina - Type A
Ivan Rodriguez - Type B
Each team can sign as many type A's as it loses, and can add three additional type A's. Re-signing your own Type A free agent (i.e. Andy Petitte) doesn't count against you. Which means the Yankees can add up to six Type A free agents this off-season.
Copyright © 2009 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author’s consent.