Marchman: How will Ramirez help the White Sox?
The Dodgers had benched Ramirez for four straight games. He was out of the starting lineup on Sunday, but did appear as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the sixth inning -- only to be ejected for arguing a called strike on the first pitch he saw.
Ramirez helped lead the Dodgers to the National League Championship Series in 2008 and 2009, but he hasn't been as productive since his 50-game drug suspension last season. In 66 games this season, Ramirez is batting .311 but with only eight home runs and 40 runs batted in. He has been on the disabled list three times with right leg injuries.
The White Sox are hoping Ramirez will be energized by a change of scenery and can give them a lift similar to the one he provided when he was acquired by the Dodgers in 2008. Los Angeles got Ramirez in a deadline deal that season, and he hit .396 with 17 homers in 53 games to power the club to the NL West title.
A leftfielder the past two seasons with Los Angeles, Ramirez will probably assume full-time designated hitter duties with the White Sox, who have lost nine of 14 and 13 of 20 to fall 4½ games behind the first-place Twins in the AL Central and 9½ behind the Rays for the AL wild-card spot.
Ramirez's salary is $20 million in the final season of the two-year contract, but only $5 million is due this year, with the rest to be paid over the next three years. He also has a full no-trade clause.
The 12-time All-Star became a fan favorite when he arrived in Los Angeles, with a section of seats named in his honor at Chavez Ravine and wigs that mimicked his dreadlocks suddenly becoming fashionable.
But the injuries and suspension following a failed drug test soured his stay, and Ramirez hasn't spoken to reporters since spring training, when he said this would be his final season with the Dodgers.
The White Sox on Friday won the exclusive waiver rights to Ramirez over claims by the Rangers and Rays because Chicago has the worst record of the three. The Dodgers had until Tuesday to do one of three things: work a trade with the White Sox, pull him off waivers and keep him or let him go and get nothing back in return.
Ramirez will join the White Sox on Tuesday in Cleveland for the second game of their 10-game road trip.