Manny Ramirez was placed on waivers Wednesday and if the controversial star is claimed, competing executives expect the Dodgers to let him go without much or any return. And should a team claim him, execs say there's no way they'd be willing to offer a decent prospect in addition to paying his remaining salary.
The White Sox are among a few teams that remain interested in Ramirez. It remains uncertain whether any team might claim him with a reported $4.3 million remaining on his salary (though $3.4 million are deferred payments on the two-year, $45 million deal he signed before the 2009 season).
If the Dodgers eat some of the money, they could possibly wind up with a decent prospect in return, but not if anyone agrees to pay the full $4.3 million. Technically, two teams could try to work out a prearranged trade with the idea that a waiver claim will be made and the claiming team agrees to pay less than the player's full salary. But the White Sox are not going to pay Ramirez's full $4.3 million.
One rival executive called it a "50--50'' chance Ramirez would be claimed, while a few others said he would pass through waivers.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Dodgers and White Sox were to begin trade talks, which could mean that the teams either expected him to clear waivers, or that the White Sox could put in a claim -- though one exec suggested that the White Sox would not claim him and risk having to pay that money. When the White Sox made two offers at the July 31 trade deadline, they were willing to pay somewhere between $1 million and $1.5 million of his salary. Nearly a month has passed, and Ramirez only recently returned from the disabled list, so it would seem unlikely they'd be willing to pay three times that amount now.
Ramirez has indicated to people he expects to leave Los Angels before the Aug. 31 deadline, one way or another. Ramirez is believed amenable to waiving his no-trade clause.
Ramirez, who just returned this week from a month-long stint on the disabled list, had two hits on Wednesday night. He has eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 64 games but a .307 average, .407 on-base percentage and .513 slugging percentage. If he can show teams he isn't rusty from the right leg injuries that have bothered him much of the season, he could stir extra interest.