The long, slow waiver dance is over: Manny Ramirez officially became property of the Chicago White Sox on Monday afternoon via their waiver claim, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com.
The Dodgers and White Sox attempted to negotiate a trade Monday morning, according to sources, but the talks never gained traction. The Dodgers weren't thrilled with the prospects the White Sox offered, opting instead to dump the disgruntled player on the Sox.
Chicago now will be responsible for the entirety of the roughly $4.3 million left on Ramirez's 2010 contract -- roughly $1 million up front, and $3.3 million deferred.
Ramirez was said to still be in Los Angeles as of midday Monday PDT and planned to travel to Cleveland to join the White Sox later in the day. The Sox hope to have him in the lineup Tuesday for the middle game of their three-game series in Cleveland.
The White Sox hope Ramirez serves as an improvement from their current designated-hitter rotation of Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay and Mark Teahen. It's not an altogether unfamiliar role for Manny: When he joined the Dodgers in 2008, he was acquired to beef up an offense that was being dragged down in part by the highly disappointing play of, yes, Jones.
Part of the reason the White Sox see this as a calculated gamble is because they think they will be receiving a highly motivated Manny who will be playing for a new contract (sound familiar?). A free agent this winter, Ramirez, at 38, has told friends he wants to play again next year and knows he needs a job in the American League, where he would DH. After leaving LA, Ramirez essentially will spend September in the dual role of trying to push the White Sox into the playoffs while playing for a 2011 contract.
So, the last official Manny Moment for the Dodgers was his defiant reaction to plate umpire Gary Cederstrom's called strike during a pinch-hitting appearance in the sixth inning of Sunday's game in Colorado.
Having been kept out of the lineup for four consecutive days, Ramirez, who also had pinch hit on Saturday, was called on to pinch hit in the sixth inning with the Dodgers down 8-2 and the bases loaded.
What followed was a bizarre moment that will go down in the annals of Manny Being Manny.
He went ballistic when Cederstrom called the first pitch -- which looked to be a couple of inches off the plate -- a strike, earning an ejection.
Yes, after called strike one.
Reed Johnson finished the at-bat by grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Though Ramirez was said not to have cursed at Cederstrom, it was another moment in a litany for Ramirez: A disgruntled man acting out in an effort to induce his current club to move him.
The acquisition culminates a month of interest from the White Sox, who first approached the Dodgers in the final couple of hours on July 31, before the non-waivers trading deadline. There wasn't enough time to explore it then, but the Sox maintained interest.
Ramirez has been on the disabled list three times this season, twice (and most recently) for a right calf strain. He's hitting .311 with a .405 on-base percentage, eight homers and 40 RBI.
After cracking two doubles Wednesday in Milwaukee, Dodgers manager Joe Torre held Ramirez out of the lineup for Thursday's series finale there and for all three games in Colorado this weekend. Among other things, Torre said he liked the "energy" brought by outfielder Scott Podsednik and he cited the vast Coors Field outfield as a reason for not playing Ramirez.
The White Sox, looking for an offensive boost, are 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central. If they do wind up with Ramirez as a straight-up waiver claim, it would be the second consecutive summer in which that happened. Last year, they claimed -- and were awarded -- outfielder Alex Rios from Toronto, inheriting his $60 million contract.
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 50 at-bats. The two doubles he collected Wednesday in Milwaukee were his first hits since June 28.