Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Manny Ramirez, Get Well Soon

Because if we can't use you by the time you come back from the DL, according to Jerry Crasnick of, surely some team will need you:

Running through the list of August trade candidates is the equivalent of sweeping up the peanut shells and other debris after the circus has left town. That's especially true this year, when just about every major trade rumor of note was consummated in July.

Now that Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, Lance Berkman, Ryan Ludwick, Matt Capps and so many other name players have been dealt, the August trade crop is looking rather sparse. But as more teams slip from contention (that could be you, Tigers, Angels, Dodgers, Mets, Marlins and Rockies) and contenders get a better handle on their needs, there could be a few more trades in store.

The process is more complicated now because players must pass through waivers before they can be dealt. Once they clear, they're free to be traded anywhere.

If a player is claimed, Team A can either pull him back and keep him or let him go to Team B, which assumes the claimed player's entire salary. That's what happened last year when the Chicago White Sox claimed Alex Rios from Toronto and assumed the $60 million-plus remaining on his contract.

There's also a third option: Team A and Team B have a 48-hour window in which to negotiate a trade.

Which names are we likely to see bandied about in August? This week's installment of Starting 9 looks at some prominent post-waiver-deadline trade candidates.

#1: Manny Ramirez, Dodgers

Corey Hart just signed a three-year, $26.5 million contract extension with Milwaukee, and Washington general manager Mike Rizzo set the bar so high on Adam Dunn before the deadline that nobody was willing to meet the price. It's hard to see Rizzo turning around and suddenly moving Dunn now.

That leaves Ramirez as the most accomplished and obtainable slugger on the market -- although the term "slugger" doesn't resonate as it once did with him. Ramirez's .516 slugging percentage is low by his standards, and his ratio of one homer every 23.3 at-bats is the second worst of his career.

Ramirez is on the disabled list with a calf injury, and he's not expected to return for another week or so. The Dodgers still owe him about $7 million, and they couldn't find enough common ground with the White Sox to send him to Chicago before the deadline. Now that GM Ned Colletti has added $3.6 million to the payroll with the acquisitions of Ted Lilly, Scott Podsednik and Ryan Theriot, he probably isn't going to be able to move Manny without someone taking on the entire salary.

One person familiar with the Dodgers' situation said it's a "long shot" that Ramirez will be traded in August. But the Dodgers are nine games behind San Diego in the National League West and seven behind San Francisco in the wild-card race. Don't be surprised if someone makes another run at Manny once he comes off the DL.

Again, I'll save my thoughts about Manny until the final coda is played. I have a feeling, though, that it will be before September this year. And I do have mixed feelings about that.


MeanieBreanie said...

Manny's final coda? Per Green Day, wake me up when September ends.

Josh S. said...

MSTI pointed out that he can't clear waivers while on the DL, which could explain the "setback" in his recovery.