Tag:Los Angeles Dodgers
Posted on: November 30, 2010 2:56 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 12:07 pm
 

Dodgers' early moves eye-opening

Come on now, the week's most intriguing issue isn't what the scales said when new Dodger Juan Uribe stepped on them during his physical examination Tuesday.

It's what the scale says when the Dodgers plop their 2011 payroll on top of it.

Maybe Uribe's new three-year, $21 million deal in Los Angeles will be looking a little ragged in 2013. Who knows, it might not look so great by the end of 2011. He's 31, seems like 36, and do you really think he can pop 24 homers in a summer again as he did in 2010?

But while the addition of Uribe provides plenty of cordwood for Hot Stove League debate, the fact that the Dodgers now have signed four significant free agents and we're not even to the Winter Meetings yet is the strongest signal yet that perhaps the worst of the Great McCourt Divorce Trial is starting to move through.

In handing left-hander Ted Lilly $33 million, right-hander Hiroki Kuroda $12 million, right-hander Jon Garland $5 million and now Uribe $21 million, the Dodgers have shelled out some $71 million during the offseason's first month.

You can argue that there is nary an impact player like a Cliff Lee or a Carl Crawford among them.

But neither, now, is there a Charlie Haeger in the projected mix for 2011.

The Dodgers are back in the game. Nobody's predicting a division title here but, already, the rotation is improved over that wing and a prayer they trotted out in 2010. Vicente Padilla as opening day starter was the organization's most embarrassing moment since the 1986 club filmed The Baseball Boogie music video.

In Garland and Lilly, general manager Ned Colletti is taking a smart, calculated gamble with veterans who are reliable and will handle a heavy innings-pitched workload. No, they don't completely close the gap with the world champion Giants of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. But more threadbare clubs like the Padres shouldn't run circles around them again.

Meanwhile, Uribe at second base at least has a better chance for a happy ending than Uribe at shortstop. No, that pear-shaped body isn't prototypical for a middle infield position. But a couple of things about Uribe:

-- He's a winner. He played pivotal roles on two World Series champion teams, the '05 White Sox and last year's Giants. When the stakes are high, he's come up big. He had nine RBIs in 14 post-season games last month.

-- He's beloved in the clubhouse. The Giants thought the world of him. On a Dodgers club that had clubhouse issues before Colletti arrived (Milton Bradley) and with a roster of younger players that still don't all get it (Matt Kemp), Uribe will add more than, say Manny Ramirez (no matter how the Dodgers spun his influence in the early days).

Again, this isn't to make Uribe out to be more than he is, which also is a man who batted .248 last season, owns a career on-base percentage of .300 and rarely works the count.

Truth be told, given where the Giants are and where the Dodgers are, this move is excellent for San Francisco, too. The Giants, who already specialize in ancient middle infielders (Omar Vizquel, Edgar Renteria), were smart not to over-extend with Uribe.

But for a Dodgers team that many figured would be drowning in the McCourt divorce saga for the next several years, the four moves so far at least represent hope that the clouds will part sooner rather than later.

And those don't even count what could be Colletti's best stroke of the winter, bringing back Dodgers legend Davey Lopes to coach first base. Lopes, a free agent after a dispute with the Phillies over his value, is the sharpest baserunning coach in the game.

That, and the possibility that maybe he can reach the still-maturing Kemp, make this way more than your average coach hire.

The Dodgers still have plenty to do and will be in the market for a catcher if they non-tender Russell Martin on Thursday (and the catching market is weaker than month-old iced tea).

But at the very least, a fourth-place club that finished 80-82 in 2010 has sprung out of the blocks quickly toward 2011. It's a start.

Posted on: November 1, 2010 2:24 am
Edited on: November 1, 2010 2:27 am
 

Giants own firm grip on Series with 3-1 lead

ARLINGTON, Texas -- How good a position are the Giants in following their 4-0 whitewashing of the Rangers in Game 4 here Halloween night?

Teams that have taken a 3-1 series lead are 38-6 in World Series play.

And of those six teams that came back to win ... well, nobody's done it since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.

"We're one game away," Giants outfielder and postseason hero Cody Ross said. "We can all feel it. We can smell it, taste it, everything ... all the senses.

"We just have to keep grinding."

That, or keep pitching. With Tim Lincecum lined up to start Game 5, the Giants already have shut the Rangers out in two of these four games so far. Texas thus becomes the first team since the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers to get shut out in at least two games during one single World Series.

A strong Orioles staff featuring Dave McNally, Jim Palmer and Wally Bunker pitched three shutouts against the Dodgers that fall.

A Rangers' lineup that led the American League in batting average and ranked fourth in both runs scored and on-base percentage has been completely overwhelmed.

"It's certainly pitching as advertised," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Co. "Those guys pound the strike zone. They've got good stuff. They've got velocity. They can spin the baseball, they can change speeds and they keep their defense engaged. And that's what you like to see out of pitching, keeping the defense engaged.

"They've done a great job. We've got to figure out some ways to put some runs on the board against them."

With Cliff Lee slated to start Game 5 on Monday, C.J. Wilson Game 6 on Wednesday and Colby Lewis Game 7 on Thursday, the Rangers have the starters they want going. But if they can't score, it's not going to do much good.

Likes: San Francisco closer Brian Wilson's "Aqua Man" T-shirt he was wearing Sunday. ... Hank Aaron in the house to present the Hank Aaron award to Cincinnati's Joey Votto and Toronto's Jose Bautista. Great to see Aaron still connected. ... Cooper's Old Time Pit Barbecue in Fort Worth. Biggest pork chops I've ever seen (thus the "Home of the Big Chop" monikor). And outstanding beef brisket. ... Lyle Lovett. ... Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central opening the Michigan state football playoffs with a 62-14 cruise over Dundee on Friday night.

Dislikes: Missing Halloween. ... The three minutes between innings of postseason games. Yes, baseball needs to make its money, but, yaawwwwn, man does that make these games stretch out.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"So many dragons lurking out in the fog
"So many crazy people mumblin' monologues
"It's not the tales of Stephen King that I've read
"I need protection from the things in my head
"Like...
"Vampires, mummies and the Holy Ghost
"These are the things that terrify me the most
"No alien, psychopath or MTV host
"Scares me like vampires, mummies and the Holy Ghost"

-- Jimmy Buffett, Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost

Posted on: October 13, 2010 3:40 pm
 

Ready, Fredi? Braves make Gonzalez official

Fredi Gonzalez is smart, he's coached under Bobby Cox, the Braves love him (front office and players alike) and he's got a veteran manager's pedigree.

There's only one thing not working in his favor, and it will be no small obstacle for Gonzalez to overcome: That old maxim, you never want to be the man who follows The Man.

Following Cox in Atlanta? It will be like following John Wooden at UCLA (poor Gene Bartow), Don Shula with the Miami Dolphins (Jimmy Johnson couldn't replicate the success), Tommy Lasorda with the Dodgers (hello Bill Russell, sacrificial lamb).

Not only did Cox guide the Braves to those 14 consecutive NL East titles (discounting the strike-shortened 1994 season) and the 1995 World Series title, but his greater legacy while moving to fourth on the all-time managerial wins list might be this: You never heard any player who passed through the Braves clubhouse over the years utter a negative word about Cox. None. Ever.

What a testament to Cox in the immediate aftermath of Game 4 of the NL Division Series: The Turner Field crowd giving him a prolonged standing ovation, and the San Francisco Giants hitting the "pause" button on their on-field celebration long enough to stop, face the Braves dugout and give Cox a standing ovation of their own. What a show of spontaneity and class.

Into this Grand Canyon-sized opening steps Gonzalez, who was unceremoniously dumped by the Marlins last summer when owner Jeffrey Loria's lust for Bobby Valentine apparently got the best of him.

Gonzalez was the Braves' third-base coach from 2003-2006 and, before that, in 2002, he managed their Triple-A Richmond club.

This is a man with intimate knowledge of the Braves' system -- the players, the way they do things, the culture. Even after leaving to manage the Marlins in 2007, Gonzalez lived in the Atlanta area in the winters and several times a week would meet Cox and other Braves coaches for breakfast.

So, the transition from Cox and Gonzalez should be seamless. Part of that will be because the Braves, as you would expect, handled the entire transition with class. From Cox's retirement to refusing to discuss Gonzalez until after one last, final Cox news conference on Wednesday, the Braves hit all the right notes.

Now, it's up to Gonzalez. We don't know whether Chipper Jones will make it back next year from his knee injury, but we do know the cupboard is fairly well stocked for the new manager, from pitchers Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe and Tommy Hanson to everyday players such as Martin Prado, Jason Heyward and Brian McCann.

In Atlanta, the prima donnas are at a minimum. Presumably, Gonzalez will not have a petulant Hanley Ramirez problem on his hands. And if he does, we know how he'll respond: In one of his finest moments as Marlins manager, he benched Ramirez when the shortstop resorted to dogging it.

In two of Gonzalez's three full seasons in Florida -- 2008 and 2009 -- he got more out of the Marlins than they had a right to expect. He'll have more resources in Atlanta -- bigger payroll, more tradition and established veteran players.

Replacing Cox will be no easy task, but in so many ways, Gonzalez is inheriting an ideal situation. Let's see what the man can do.

Posted on: September 23, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 5:28 pm
 

New Arizona blueprint: Less whiffs, better pen

New Arizona general manager Kevin Towers does not look at the Diamondbacks' situation as a major rebuild. And if things go the way he would like them to, among the first results you'll see is a team with an improved bullpen and, after a record-setting performance (non-performance?) this year, hitters who strike out much less.

The Diamondbacks all season have had the worst pen in the majors. But on Towers' first day as club GM Wednesday -- and with him in the stands -- the Diamondbacks set a new major-league single-season record for strikeouts.

The record breaker was Stephen Drew's whiff against Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa for 1,400 -- surpassing the 2001 Milwaukee Brewers' mark of 1,399. The Diamondbacks finished the game at 1,400.

"Power numbers come with strikeouts, but I think it's a little excessive," Towers was saying in the hours before the game. "I haven't had a lot of time to spend with [hitting coach] Jack Howell, but I do believe we can cut down on the strikeouts.

"Recognizing pitches better, knowing your hot zone. Guys might be pressing. There isn't a ton of experience, and sometimes guys press and change their swings.

"We'll come up with a plan for each and every guy, and hopefully cut down on strikeouts."

Three Diamondbacks currently reside in the top 10 among NL strikeout leaders: Mark Reynolds (first, 204), Adam LaRoche (fifth, 159) and Justin Upton (eighth, 152).

Five D-backs reside in the top 14 among NL strikeout leaders: The aforementioned trio plus Chris Young (tied for 12th, 136) and Kelly Johnson (14th, 135).

It's a trend that has become more alarming with each passing year: While this year's club already has set a record for most strikeouts, the 2009 D-backs ranks 10th all-time (1,298 strikeouts) and the '08 club ranks 11th all-time (1,287).

As for the bullpen, the Diamondbacks' is historically bad. Not only is the 5.76 bullpen ERA the worst in the majors, the numbers are among the worst of any bullpen over the past 50 years.

Among his priorities, Towers lists "improving the bullpen, improving the bench and improving the starting pitching depth." He praised key position players already in place, naming catcher Miguel Montero, shortstop Stephen Drew, center fielder Chris Young and second baseman Kelly Johnson among the assets.

That all of those players play up the middle, where all good clubs must be strong, is heartening to Towers.

Among the starting pitchers, Towers singles out for praise Ian Kennedy, Joey Enright and Daniel Hudson.

Towers historically built stellar bullpens during his 14 years in San Diego, and though he noted part of that was because he had closer Trevor Hoffman for 12 years and Heath Bell for two, that will be the goal in Arizona. Towers mentions delving into the free agent market, the international free agent market, looking at minor-league six-year free agents, every avenue available.

"I don't think this is a situation where we'll have to wait a couple of years," Towers said. "My hope is to be next year's Padres."

Likes: Lots of people think the Dodgers have packed it in given their uninspired play (and given James Loney telling the Los Angeles Times this week that at times this year other teams have played harder than the Dodgers), but you can't accuse manager Joe Torre of quitting. He's shuffled his rotation to make sure Clayton Kershaw gets a start against the Rockies next week. The Giants, Padres and even Braves surely appreciate that. ... Atlanta's Matt Diaz tripping the fan who was running around the field like an idiot in Philadelphia the other night. ... This blog on Derek Jeter from the YES Network's Jack Curry. ... San Francisco traveling to Colorado this weekend, and there's nothing like a hot rivalry stoked by conspiracy theories. ... This obituary on Leonard Skinner, an old Florida high school phys ed teacher -- and the namesake for band Lynyrd Skynyrd. ... And if you've ever used the term "so-and-so has jumped the shark", you owe it to yourself to read this first-person account from the man who, yes, wrote the Happy Days episode in which Fonzie jumped the shark.

Dislikes: Love Tina Fey. Love Steve Carrell. Date Night? Do not love it. In fact, did not even like it. Disliked it so much I yanked it out of my DVD player halfway through the other night.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Pretty women out walkin' with gorillas down my street
"From my window I'm starin' while my coffee goes cold
"Look over there
"Where?
"There!
"There's a lady that I used to know
"She's married now or engaged or somethin', so I'm told"

-- Joe Jackson, Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Posted on: September 9, 2010 2:07 am
 

Padres sweep Dodgers, Giant showdown next

SAN DIEGO -- Following a victory over German troops in Egypt during World War II in 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

And as they were saying in the San Diego clubhouse after sweeping the Dodgers with a 4-0 whitewashing on Wednesday night to regain traction following that vicious 10-game losing streak. ...

"The baseball season is long and there are ebbs and flows," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Our season, up until that point, was pretty steady. I think it's a tribute to our guys. We hit a bump in the road, and I thought our guys showed resolve. We pitched well, played sound defense and executed."

Their breath back, the first-place Padres now head into a colossal four-game, showdown series with San Francisco beginning on Thursday evening, a season hanging in the balance.

With the Giants losing in Arizona on Wednesday, the Padres pushed their NL West lead -- six games as recently as 12 days ago -- back up to two games.

The Padres have beaten San Francisco in nine of 11 games this season, but the Giants have undergone significant changes from what the Padres saw in April and May (Buster Posey, Pat Burrell, Jose Guillen, Cody Ross, Madison Bumgarner).

The exclamation mark for the four-game series comes at the end, when aces Mat Latos and Tim Lincecum oppose each other on Sunday.

Latos, signed by Padres scout Joe Bochy, brother of Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on Tuesday set a major-league record by working his 15th consecutive start in which he worked at least five innings with two or fewer runs allowed.

With the Giants on deck and a two-game lead in their grasp, it turns out that 10-game losing streak was not the end for the Padres. Given their sweep of the Dodgers, it probably was not even the beginning of the end.

But it clearly was the end of a beginning that saw them join the Yankees as the only teams in the game not to lose more than three in a row, the end of a beginning that was almost too smooth to believe.

Now, in whipping the Dodgers, the Padres looked like themselves again.

They won Wednesday's game behind six shutout innings from rookie Cory Luebke, 25, who was making just the second big-league start of his career. Just fill in the blanks by day, the pitching has been excellent. Black said Luebke will get the ball again for another start five days hence in Colorado.

The three-run sixth against Chad Billingsley was as good an indicator as anything that the whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-th
eir-parts Padres were back: Lefty Will Venable dropped an opposite-field blooper down the left-field line for a single, speedster Everth Cabrera bunted for a hit and pinch-hitter David Eckstein beat out a bunt attempt when Billingsley threw late to third.

Bases loaded, speedy leadoff man Luis Durango dropped a two-run single into left. Then, slugger Adrian Gonzalez cracked a sacrifice fly.

"We're getting back to the way we play," Eckstein said.

"These are the things we've worked on because we knew we needed to do them," Black said. "When they go our way, it doesn't surprise us. We've worked on these things as far back as February."

Gonzalez, in a conversation before the game, said that the first several games of the losing streak was simply business as usual for the Padres -- they were playing sound ball but were simply losing. Toward the end of the streak, though, Gonzalez said he could see some of the players pressing. That eased immensely, he said, with the first two wins over the Dodgers.

So ... a new beginning for the Padres?

"We hope so," Eckstein said. "We're not going to answer that question until we clinch or don't clinch, because we'll hear about it the rest of our lives if we don't. We just have to focus on playing our game."

Likes: Trevor Hoffman earning career save No. 600. Congratulations to a man who has had a very difficult season but remains pure class. ... Former Cincinnati ace Gary Nolan visiting with the Reds in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. ... Intense scoreboard watching every night now. ... The portable iPod players. It's given yet another new life to my iTouch. Reds manager Dusty Baker has one that travels with him -- it's usually queued up in the manager's office -- and he jokes that it's his "roommate." ... The Arcade Fire's new disc, The Suburbs. ... Digging this season of Mad Men. ... Ah, back to school. A young lady was wearing this T-shirt in the St. Louis airport the other day: "We didn't come to college to find our husbands. We came to find our bridesmaids."

Dislikes: The Dodgers are playing like they've quit. Totally disinterested. ... Arizona manager Kirk Gibson being stung by a scorpion at his Arizona home this week. Among the only things more disgusting than scorpions are tarantulas. ... Human beings continue to get larger and larger with each generation. Airplane aisles continue to get smaller and smaller. The future of air travel? I don't even want to know. Let's just say that the larger people and smaller aisles are going to clash pretty badly here in a few years.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Everyone I know
"Everywhere I go
"People need some reason to believe"

-- Jackson Browne, Running on Empty

 

Posted on: August 30, 2010 2:45 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2010 3:00 pm
 

White Sox officially acquire Manny

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.

Posted on: August 29, 2010 8:18 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2010 9:10 pm
 

Manny expected to land with White Sox Monday

So long, Mannywood.

The Manny Ramirez era in Los Angeles is all over but the official shipping of the dreadlocks. A deal sending Ramirez to the Chicago White Sox is expected to happen on Monday, according to CBSSports.com sources.

Indications are that the White Sox may be awarded Ramirez via their waiver claim, which would mean they would be responsible for the remaining $4.3 million Ramirez is due in 2010 (roughly $1 million for the rest of the year, with $3.3 million deferred).

However, as of later Sunday evening the two clubs were still in discussions, and there remained the chance the White Sox would send a couple of prospects to Los Angeles in return for the Dodgers picking up some of the salary.

What the White Sox see is a sleeping giant who will be motivated once he sees fresh pastures and escapes LA, one who will improve their DH rotation that currently consists of Andruw Jones, Mark Teahen and Mark Kotsay.

What the Dodgers see is a chance to cut their losses on a one-time slugger who did great things two summers ago but who mostly has offered diminishing returns since 2009 -- and seriously diminishing returns this year.

The last official Manny Moment for the Dodgers now appears to be his impetuous -- 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 dance between the White Sox and Dodgers started on July 31, when the Sox inquired about Ramirez's availability in the final couple of hours before the non-waivers trade deadline. There wasn't enough time to explore it then, but the Sox kept Ramirez in their crosshairs.

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 full no-trade powers but is not expected to enforce them. There is a chance he could seek financial incentives for waiving the no-trade clause, but it is believed that he wants out of Los Angeles badly enough that he will not ask for them.

Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:51 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 3:05 pm
 

White Sox claim Manny off waivers

Let the negotiations between the White Sox and Dodgers begin.

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.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com