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ST. LOUIS - JULY 18: Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers sits in the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 18, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
It looks like the Dodgers will try to trade Manny Ramirez this week. They need to do so by Aug. 31 or he is not eligible for a playoff roster (and no team not headed to the playoffs would have any interest in paying Ramirez $4.4 million for the remainder of this season).
Neither do the Dodgers. They want to get a little something back for the guy who was the biggest draw the Dodgers had seen in a decade (at least) two seasons ago.
Here’s the details: Multiple reports have the Dodger about to put Manny Ramirez on waivers this week — meaning any team can claim him. The Dodgers are doing this with the expectation that nobody will claim him, then they can work out a trade with an American League contender who could use a designated hitter (the way he plays in the field, no National League team will touch him). Teams such as Tampa Bay, the Chicago White Sox or Texas Rangers may have interest.
But oh, so many things can go wrong, and most of them are in Manny’s hands.
Whether a team does claim him on waivers (not likely) or the Dodgers do find an interested trading partner (more likely), Manny has a no-trade clause in his contract. Meaning he can veto anything if he wants.
Why would Ramirez veto leaving the Dodgers to go to a contending team where he could showcase his wares and earn some more zeroes on the end of the new contract he’ll sign this summer? Because he’s Manny for one. Secondly, for money. What he and agent Scott Boras are more likely to do is demand additional compensation to waive the no-trade clause.
In the short term, Ramirez is not that expensive. While he is owed $4.4 million as the prorated share of this year’s contract, only $1.1 million is due this season. The other $3.3 million is deferred over future years. So rent Manny now, pay later. If Manny demands more now money to be traded, he may price himself out of the market.
But the Dodgers are going to test that market. They are not headed to the playoffs, and any money they can save can go to paying the lawyers for the McCourt divorce.