Pack up the fake dreadlocks and shut the doors to Mannywood.
Manny Ramirez is leaving town, headed to the Windy City to see if he can get the White Sox back atop the AL Central, with the Twins four games ahead.
The Los Angeles Times ' Dylan Hernandez says Ramirez will be awarded on a simple waiver claim , meaning the ChiSox will not have to give up any players to get the left fielder's services, but will have to assume the roughly $4.5 million due to Ramirez -- a hefty sum. At least $3.5 million of that is deferred.
Manny's ending in L.A. was rather acrimonious (surprise, surprise) and his last act as a Dodger was to be ejected from Sunday's game on a called first strike after riding the pine four straight games. The party line in the Dodger offices was that manager Joe Torre didn't want to mess with success and keep Scott Podsednik in left -- and yet, Manny was supposedly crucial to L.A.'s push for the wild card.
So much for that. It was clear Manny had worn out his welcome in Chavez Ravine and the team preferred Scotty Po in left as he gave L.A. a bona fide leadoff man as well as playing actual defense in left.
The White Sox have no need to be concerned with Ramirez's defense, however, as he'll primarily be a designated hitter, able to rest his legs that have become a problem in recent years. He isn't the hitter he used to be, but his .311/.405/.510 line in 232 plate appearances shows he has plenty left in the tank. He should also be a remarkable upgrade over the ChiSox' cumulative DH line of .243/.313/.408. Worse production came only from second base and left -- and the primary DHs of Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay have seen their fair share of time in left.
Yes, Manny tends to be a distraction, but the White Sox have a win-win scenario here. Manny needs to produce on the field and keep his nose clean off it as he will be a free agent, plus Chicago gets to stick him at DH without having to play him in left and enjoy his production in the launching pad that is US Cellular Field.
-- Evan Brunell
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