CHICAGO — Manny Ramirez is expected to be shipped to the Chicago White Sox today — just in time for a visit to Fenway park next weekend.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press last night that the White Sox were close to acquiring the slugger from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were still being worked out, expects the deal to be completed today, but whether it’s a trade or waiver claim is still to be determined.
The White Sox, who begin a three-game series tonight in Cleveland before heading to Boston for three games over the weekend, are hoping Ramirez will be energized by a change of scenery and can give them a lift similar to the one he provided when he was acquired by the Dodgers in 2008. Los Angeles got Ramirez in a three-team deadline deal that season with the Red Sox and Pirates, and he hit .396 with 17 homers in 53 games to power the club to the NL West title.
But that was two years ago, and the 38-year-old Ramirez has been hampered by right leg injuries this season. He is batting .311 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 66 games in 2010.
The White Sox were awarded a waiver claim on Ramirez last week, giving them until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow to complete a trade with the Dodgers. Or Los Angeles could let him go and the White Sox would simply assume his remaining salary, about $4 million. Those details were still being worked out, with Chicago likely trying for a trade that would include cash to offset part of Ramirez’s salary.
The White Sox have lost nine of 14 and 13 of 20 to fall 4 1/2 games back of AL Central-leading Minnesota with three games left in the season series between the teams.
Ramirez likely would become the designated hitter in Chicago, especially considering his recent fragile history. He returned Aug. 21 from his third stint on the DL this year.
Ramirez, an all-star in all eight seasons he played with the Red Sox, didn’t start any of his final four games with the Dodgers.
He pinch hit in the sixth inning of yesterday’s 10-5 loss to the Rockies but was ejected by home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom after one pitch when he argued a called strike that appeared to be a few inches off the outside corner.
That might turn out to have been his final act in a Dodgers uniform.