At some point Saturday, the Mets and Red Sox cut the Devil Rays out of a proposed three-way blockbuster trade, according to reports.
It still wasn’t enough to get over the hump of the deal, with Sunday's 4 p.m. ET trading deadline rapidly approaching.
New York and Boston were left facing off and – even with the Mets agreeing to accept 75 percent to all of the $64 million remaining on Ramirez's deal – haggling over prospects, most notably the inclusion of Mets top prospect Lastings Milledge, a 20-year-old centerfielder at Double-A Binghamton.
The Red Sox had hoped to acquire Milledge and spin him off into major league talent, while the Devil Rays were looking to haul off with several New York and Boston prospects – Milledge, No. 1 Mets pitching prospect Yusmeiro Petit and Sox minor leaguers Anibal Sanchez and Kelly Shoppach among them – before being cut out of the loop, their bounty of closer Danys Baez and infielder Julio Lugo overlooked.
Meanwhile, in Houston, Mike Cameron stewed as the Mets would lose, 2-0. Cameron told reporters before the game that he hadn't been able to sleep on Friday as a result of the incessant trade talk, which had him going to Boston as the most recognizable major league piece of a Ramirez deal.
The Mets could still make a deal by Sunday's 4 p.m. deadline, but it probably won't be Ramirez. Instead, New York could revisit their ongoing deal with Tampa Bay, swapping Aaron Heilman and Petit to the Devil Rays for Baez, according to the New York Post.
The Mets are also interested in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have closer Jose Mesa and first baseman Daryle Ward to offer.
As far as Alfonso Soriano, the focus of Mets GM Omar Minaya's affection as recently as four days ago, he appears headed for the Minnesota Twins, according to the New York Daily News.