Time has come for fading Dodgers to trade Manny Ramirez
Despite last night's 6-0 win over the Rockies, the Dodgers' postseason hopes are almost too small to measure. Eleven games behind the Padres in the NL West and seven behind the Phillies in the wild card hunt, they're left with a 1.6 percent crack at the playoffs, per
The Dodgers made a big push at the first trade deadline, acquiring
The big move, however, would be to deal away
Ramirez is not guaranteed to clear waivers. He's making $20 million this season, but $15 million of that is deferred money, meaning a team would be on the hook for less than a million bucks in cash this season. Teams that have little interest in or room for Ramirez, such as the Rockies, Cardinals and Twins, may claim him merely to prevent a team ahead of them in the league from improving themselves. This practice was once frowned upon, but is now commonplace.
Whatever Ramirez's foibles, whether attitude, availability or awareness, the man still hits: .317/.409/.516 at the age of 38 in a home park that doesn't do him any favors. There are few teams in baseball that wouldn't be helped by adding that kind of production, even for one month, and the teams eyeing Ramirez would no doubt be envisioning him in their lineup for two. Ramirez's poor defense, no doubt made worse by the calf injury, hinders his value to an NL team, making him a bit more of a fit for an AL team that can slide him into the DH role.
What are the matches for Ramirez? Well, Tampa Bay has been searching for a decent designated hitter all season and on the heels of the failed
Of course, Ramirez would have to clear two whole leagues for the Rays to have a shot. Would the White Sox pass on Ramirez? They continue to make do with
The Yankees have long been connected to Ramirez because of his Washington Heights roots, but they seem an unlikely landing spot for him. The Yankees made their big move in trading for
There are few NL teams that are a fit for Ramirez, making it likely that he'd clear waivers. The Braves could use an outfielder and a bat to replace
Ramirez can still help a team get to the postseason...just not his current one. The Dodgers should be aggressive, once they can, about leveraging their best trade chit to make themselves just a little bit better down the road.