The Dodgers, one of the more proactive teams at the trade deadline, made a flurry of deals obtaining Podsednik, Lilly, Theriot and Dotel. However, the Dodgers wake this morning as losers of five in a row and eight games out of first, with a real uphill climb in front of them.
The fact that the Dodgers are eight games out is disconcerting enough. The fact that they have three teams ahead of them to jump makes the prospects of making the playoffs an arduous task to say the least.
While the MLB Trade Deadline has passed, that doesn't mean trades can't still get done. Players simply have to clear waivers. In this market, teams aren't as willing to put in a claim just to block someone else because they might have their bluff called and end up getting stuck paying the contract of a player they didn't want or had no need for. For many teams, the money isn't just sitting there available to do that like it was in the good old days.
If the Dodgers don't close the gap within the next 2-3 weeks, don't be surprised to see Manny Ramirez traded. The Dodgers outfielder would most likely clear waivers because no one would want to be 'stuck' with his contract.
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White Sox general manager Ken Williams, known to make late deadline deals, tried to pull a trade off for Ramirez just before the deadline but the White Sox wanted the Dodgers to pay part of the approximately $6.7 million remaining on Ramirez's contract. That, combined with the fact that at that point the Dodgers still felt they were in it, resulted in no deal.
However, each day the calendar turns over without the Dodgers making a dent into the lead, the likelihood of Manny being moved increases because while many teams don't want to be 'stuck' with his contract, there will be at least one team that will look at it from a different perspective.
If teams were inquiring about Manny while he is on the DL, you can only imagine the interest that someone will have of obtaining him if/when he becomes healthy. Also, Ramirez is in a contract year, and teams know that he'll be motivated.
You can almost guarantee that someone will be willing to talk the majority of Manny's contract a few weeks from now. By this time next month Manny will have less than $3.5 million left on his contract. Surely someone will shell that over and gamble on Manny with a month's worth of at bats down the stretch in a contract year. I would, wouldn't you?
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If the Padres are still in it, how great would it be to see him batting in front, or better yet behind...... Adrian Gonzalez...... - Keith A. Baker
Keith is a sports agent in Stamford, Connecticut. His goal is to offer a unique insight to the world of sports. Comments in his columns are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect the views and opinions of his firm or his clients.
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