August 27, 2010

The Chicago White Sox claimed Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez on waivers and were awarded the claim Friday. Multiple teams were said to have claimed Ramirez. There was no word yet on whether the Dodgers and White Sox would work out a trade or whether Los Angeles would just let him go to Chicago, in which case the White Sox would be responsible for the $4.1 million remaining on Ramirez's contract, which expires after this season.

The Dodgers can also pull Ramirez back off waivers and elect to keep him, an option which can't be ruled out now that a recent burst of good play has them on the cusp on the playoff race, just five games out in the wild card. However, the Dodgers have also been in cost-saving mode.

Ramirez has a no-trade clause and though he hasn't committed to accepting a deal it's likely that he would. The two teams have had some trade talks but it isn't known if much progress was made toward a deal.

According to baseball's waiver wire rules, any team can claim a player in the two-day period in which he is on waivers. If multiple teams claim that player, the claiming team with the worst record in the same league as that player's current team is awarded the player. If no team in that league claimed him, the claim is then awarded to the claiming team with the worst record in the other league. The Texas Rangers also put in a claim, and the Rays may have as well, but because the White Sox have a worse record than those teams, they won the claim.

The White Sox appear to have vacillated a few times over the past two days about whether or not to put in a claim on the 38-year-old outfielder who has played just 64 games this season. Eventually, they decided it was worth the risk as they try to chase down the Twins in the AL Central, who lead the second-place White Sox by 3 1/2 games entering play on Friday. Ramirez is batting .313 this season with a .407 on-base percentage and .513 slugging percentage. He just returned this week from a month-long on the disabled list.

The White Sox have shown a willingness to take waiver wire risks, having added Alex Rios and his hefty contract last year.

Meanwhile, the Rays, who never thought they'd have a good chance at Manny, signed Brad Hawpe to a minor league deal. Hawpe was released recently by the Rockies and was batting .255 with seven home runs for Colorado. Tampa Bay has been looking to solve its designated hitter problems all season long. Hawpe will get some at-bats in the minors with the expectation that he'll be brought up to the majors sometime next week. He needs to be activated by Tuesday in order to be eligible for the playoffs.

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