- Associated Press - Friday, August 27, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) - The Manny Watch is on for Chicago’s South Side. Manny Ramirez was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the White Sox were awarded the claim that gives them exclusive bargaining rights for the slugger, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the waiver-wire process is confidential.

The White Sox and Dodgers have until 1:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to complete a trade, which Ramirez would have to approve. The Dodgers also could let him go _ with his consent _ in which case the White Sox would simply assume his salary.

Or, Los Angeles could keep Ramirez and try to make a run at the playoffs with him.

Chicago general manager Kenny Williams refused to talk about Ramirez before the White Sox hosted the New York Yankees on Friday night in the opener of a weekend series.

“I can’t,” he said. “It’s against the tampering rules. It’s a large, large fine. Now, I know that a lot of others speak on such subjects and you guys may be cheated as a result of my unwillingness to go down that road. I prefer to abide by the major league rules, so I can’t talk about it.”

Ramirez’s salary is $20 million in the final season of a two-year contract, but only $5 million is due this year, with the rest to be paid over the next three years. He also has a full no-trade clause that would allow him to veto a trade or waiver claim.

Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen deferred to Williams, but said Ramirez could help the team if the White Sox are able to acquire him. As long as the 12-time All-Star joins the White Sox by Tuesday, he would be eligible to play for them in the postseason.

“Believe me, if this kid comes here, this kid, (it’s) because he wants to,” Guillen said. “That’s a good thing. That’s a good thing about it.”

The enigmatic Ramirez, who has 554 career home runs, was not in Los Angeles’ lineup at Colorado on Friday night _ Dodgers manager Joe Torre said it was because of his numbers against Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez. He was available to pinch hit.

Torre said he thinks Ramirez will play Saturday and it doesn’t seem as though the trade talk has bothered him.

“He seems pretty comfortable to me,” Torre said. “I talked to him a couple of times today, once on the phone and when he came here.”

Coming off a three-game sweep of Milwaukee, the Dodgers began the day five games back in the NL wild-card race. The White Sox were 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.

“Ideally, if you are trying to get anything done, you want to add to your club as quickly as possible,” Williams said. “But these things take time and you have to go through the process. This is more so for me, I care about 7 p.m. and the New York Yankees.

“Whatever happens in the next few days, that’s the primary goal. I don’t want any of these guys certainly thinking about who may or may not be walking through the door.”

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