The White Sox, according to sources, won the waiver claim of one-time slugger, full-time diva Manny Ramirez on Friday and will have until Tuesday afternoon to broker a deal with the Dodgers.
AL West leader Texas, ultra-aggressive all summer, also put in a claim for Ramirez, according to sources with knowledge of the process. But because the White Sox's record is worse, Chicago was awarded the claim.
The Sox have been sending signals of their interest in Ramirez for nearly a month, starting with a phone call to Los Angeles in the hours leading up to the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline. The Dodgers and White Sox engaged in conversations that day but a potential deal was too complicated to finish before the deadline.
Now, the Sox and Dodgers appear poised to pick up those discussions where they left off then. Despite reports to the contrary, the two clubs have not held trade discussions centering on Ramirez since July 31, one source with knowledge of the talks reiterated to CBSSports.com on Friday.
During the talks on July 31, the Dodgers were determined not to simply dump Ramirez, that they would acquire some sort of value in exchange for him. That thinking remains the same. And adding intrigue to the situation is that the Dodgers now are coming off of a sweep of Milwaukee and have climbed back to within five games of San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.
There do, however, remain four teams ahead of the Dodgers: The Giants, Phillies, Cardinals and Rockies. But the point is, the Dodgers are close enough that the last thing they will want is to send off signals that they are waving a white flag.
Ramirez is owed roughly $4.3 million for the rest of the season. The expected course of action, if the Dodgers do deal him, is that they and the White Sox would reach an agreement on players, and the Dodgers would cover some -- but not all -- of Ramirez's remaining 2010 salary.
Ramirez has been on the disabled list three times this season, twice (and most recently) for a right calf strain. He's hitting .313 with eight homers and 40 RBI in 64 games and has not homered over his past 48 at-bats. The two doubles he collected Wednesday in Milwaukee were his first hits since June 28.