BOSTON -- Trading away a Dominican star wouldn't faze Jim Beattie. As general manager of the Expos, he once sent Pedro Martinez packing from Montreal.
Beattie, former executive vice president of the Baltimore Orioles, met Friday at Fenway Park with Red Sox president Larry Lucchino. He's the fourth candidate interviewed since the departure of Theo Epstein last month.
One of the first tasks of a new Red Sox general manager will be dealing with a trade request by slugger Manny Ramirez.
Under different circumstances in 1997, Beattie traded Martinez to Boston for top pitching prospects.
"Everybody is obviously open to be traded or eligible to be traded," Beattie said, referring to Ramirez's status as he spoke with reporters after the job interview.
But at the same time, he said, he wouldn't be eager to trade away one of the game's best hitters.
"As a ball player, he's a force. I know David Ortiz doesn't want him to be traded. When you're trying to put together clubs, you're trying to find great hitters like Manny Ramirez," he said.
He called his Martinez trade "a very tough decision."
"Payroll was not going to keep pace with everyone else's. We were given choices of letting guys become free agents -- or trading them," he said.
Beattie said if chosen for the Red Sox job, he'd try to carry on some of the success the team has had in the past rather than make wholesale changes.
Washington general manager Jim Bowden, Minnesota assistant GM Wayne Krivsky and Atlanta assistant GM Dayton Moore interviewed with Lucchino and Red Sox chairman Tom Warner on Wednesday at a hotel near the general managers' meetings in California.
Boston wants to hire a replacement by the winter meetings, scheduled for Dec. 5-8.
"You really should go to the winter meetings armed to do business," Lucchino said Wednesday.
Epstein helped put together the 2004 Red Sox team that won the franchise's first World Series title since 1918. He departed when his contract expired Oct. 31, after he and Lucchino were unable to reach a new agreement.
Beattie became the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations in December 2002 and was replaced last month by his top aide, Mike Flanagan. Beattie had sought the Red Sox GM job when Epstein was hired, and he said he approached the Red Sox when it became open again.
Beattie, who won a World Series ring as a right-hander for the 1978 New York Yankees, noted his strong New England ties. He grew up in Portland, Maine, and went to Darmouth College, where a son and daughter now attend. Another daughter attends Phillips Academy in Andover.