So We All Agree It’s Cleveland, Right?

Via Diamond Leung, Bob Keisser of the Riverside Press-Enterprise buries an interesting note deep within his column:

There’s finally some good news for Frank McCourt, although it could be considered bad news by some Dodgers fans.

A baseball insider says the club has been contacted by an American League team that is interested in Manny Ramirez if the team will pay part of his $20 million salary for 2010.

It’s a team that plays in a very mediocre division, has a few team officials familiar with Ramirez, and always needs a bump in notoriety.

McCourt could easily explain the decision by referencing the performance-enhancing drug issue. He would also likely receive some off-the-record support from a few old-timers in the dugout. Plus, he can plead financial hardship because of his pending divorce.

Let’s see, here. Well, you’d never call the AL East a “very mediocre divison”, and while I suppose the AL West isn’t on that level, nor does it have the level of ineptitude the AL Central came up with in displaying two 97-loss teams (Royals, Indians) and a third under .500 (White Sox). Cleveland’s GM, Mark Shapiro, has been with the team since 1991, so that satisfies the “team official familiar with Ramirez” part, and as far as notoriety, well, they’re a 97-loss team in Cleveland.

In addition, according to Cot’s, Manny hasĀ a full no-trade clause, so the team would have to think he’d at least be willing to consider waiving it. You really think he’s doing that for Kansas City? Of course he’s not. And what was it he said way back in April of 2009?

Manny Ramirez is already yearning for the old days — of Cleveland.

Ramirez, who early last month signed a two-year, $45 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, says a return to the Cleveland Indians before retirement would be ideal.

“I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started,” Ramirez told USA Today. “I have so many good memories there, why not?

“I think to go back where you started is everyone’s dream.”

So yeah, it’s the Indians. That said, this is never going to happen. Scott Boras would only allow Manny to waive his no-trade if the Indians signed him to a new deal, which they’re unlikely to do, and it’s also unlikely that the Dodgers would be willing to eat enough of the deal to have Manny not play for them to make this work.

Besides, as we discussed just hours ago in our 2009 LF review, Manny’s still a dangerous hitter – and one who should be better next year. We really want to trade down from him to Juan Pierre just to save a few million bucks? On second thought, don’t answer that.

Ah, the joys of completely unrealistic early offseason rumors.

Update: to the surprise of absolutely no one, Ned Colletti has denied this rumor. That tidbit brought to you via the Twitter of the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez, which just so happens to be his very first Tweet. You’ve got to be some kind of bigshot to get your first Tweet linked by the blogs of strangers!

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