Money Talks

1218125129Every Thursday, Francis Storrs will take you inside the corridors of high-stakes finance and dealmaking. This week: Manny Ramirez has already traded uniforms, but what will happen when he tries to deal his posh digs at the Ritz?

It’s been a week now since Manny Ramirez left town and it still doesn’t seem fair. What do you mean we pay his salary? Wait, we lose Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen, too? At least, I’ve been trying to tell myself, Manny still owns his penthouse at the Ritz—see, I think, he is still a Bostonian. But I’d bet my lucky Number 24 jersey that even that condo will soon be going to the highest bidder, and I doubt we’re going to have to wait until October to see it happen.

The Herald says that Jacoby Ellsbury and his girlfriend recently toured Manny’s 4-bedroom, 4,421 square foot condo overlooking Boston Common. There’s a mortgage crisis going on, though, and leveraging a $406,000 salary against a place once listed for $6.9 million would seem like a bit of a stretch.

Then again, Ellsbury might just see an opportunity to make a deal. In the last few years, the assessed value of Manny’s condo has tanked, dropping $800,000. That’s $1.3 million less than the roughly $5.8 million he paid in 2001. Manny lost his number when he moved to Los Angeles, is it possible that he could lose his shirt, too?

I’m no real estate professional, but let us, as the realtors say, take a look at a comp: Last spring, Josh Beckett reportedly paid $2.69 million for a 3-bedroom condo that sits 17 floors down from Manny. The pitcher paid about $1,000 for every one of his 2,667 square feet.

Among other niceties, Manny has valet parking for three cars written into his deed (Beckett has just one), and Manny has a sweet private balcony (Beckett doesn’t have one), so estimates put the square-foot price of Manny’s place at about a third higher. By that reckoning it’s worth about $5.9 million, $100,000 more than he paid.

There’s another way to look at it. Back in 2005, Manny listed the condo for $6.9 million with superbroker Jason Weissman of Boston Realty Advisors. (Weissman declined to comment on his experience representing Ramirez in the past—or to confirm whether he’ll be representing him again—but you can still see the 3-year-old sales website he set up here.)

Assuming it was priced correctly then (I think it was), then chopping off the assessor’s estimated drop in value would suggest putting the asking price at an even $6 million. That would leave Manny a modest $200,000 profit. Nothing to laugh at, to be sure, but he could have gotten better returns by putting his money in a CD at Citizens.

Something tells me the slugger isn’t a bit worried about any of this. After all, the Sox still owe him $7 million on his contract. Here’s an idea: Maybe they should just buy the condo, drop the contract, and call it even. Now that would seem fair to me.

So what do you think Manny’s condo is worth? Am I, ahem, off base? Post your comments here or email me at fstorrs@bostonmagazine.com