Red Sox, Marlins, And Trade Rumor Insanity

Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez (2) hits a home run during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

It's silly season in major league baseball, and today in silliness we get Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell for Carl Crawford. Absolutely silly! Right?

Today is July 18, which means the MLB non-waiver trade deadline is coming within a fortnight. Prior to the deadline, there are some moves, and many more rumors. Of those rumors, some are small, some are medium, some are big, and some are enormous.

Wednesday, from Bob Nightengale and USA Today, we get something enormous. I blockquote!

The Miami Marlins have approached the Boston Red Sox about a blockbuster trade that would send left fielder Carl Crawford and a prospect to South Florida for infielder Hanley Ramirez and closer Heath Bell, according to three officials with knowledge of the talks[...]

The money moving around in such a deal would be insane. Crawford is signed to a huge contract, Ramirez is signed to a differently huge contract, and while Bell's contract isn't huge by those standards, it's a hell of a lot bigger than whatever contract you signed for your job, probably.

The proposal here is so crazy that -- oh wait a second.

According to Nightengale, "negotiations are ongoing." According to Olney, negotiations existed briefly and died, like a flickering light bulb. I don't know who is more right, but my inclination is to side with Olney, because these things are almost always too crazy to be true.

For reference, Crawford signed a seven-year contract worth $142 million prior to last season. Ramirez signed a six-year, $70 million contract that started in 2009. Bell signed a three-year, $27 million contract last December. Ramirez, of course, was once Red Sox property, and Crawford is back with the Red Sox after an extended stint on the disabled list, but eventually he's probably going to need to undergo Tommy John surgery.

It's fun to think about this rumor as if it could happen, but it almost certainly isn't going to happen. And there's a lesson to be learned here: there are proposals all the time. Teams check in on other players all the time. Constantly, and not just in the last two weeks of July. It isn't all that meaningful who gets checked in on, and what proposals might be made. What's meaningful is which negotiations have traction, and here it looks like this idea was dropped almost as soon as it was brought up. So the Marlins approached the Red Sox about a blockbuster. Okay. If it's not going to happen, then, so what?

I suppose one might read into the fact that the Marlins have made Ramirez and Bell available, but it's only logical that they would be, so even that isn't a shock. For the Marlins to go into sell mode would be to admit that the 2012 experiment didn't work, but I feel like we already know the 2012 experiment didn't work.

Fun rumor. Exciting rumor! Dead rumor, most likely. On to the next one.

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