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AP source: Ramirez expected to join White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are hoping he has one more playoff push left.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday night that Chicago was close to acquiring the slugger from L.A. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were still being worked out, expected the deal to be completed on Monday, but whether it’s a trade or waiver claim was still to be determined.
The White Sox 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 deadline deal that season, and he hit .396 with 17 homers in 53 games to lead the club to the postseason.
But that was two years ago, and the 38-year-old Ramirez has been hampered by right leg injuries this season. The outfielder is batting .311 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 66 games in 2010.
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.
The White Sox were awarded a waiver claim on Ramirez last week, giving them until 1:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to complete a trade with the Dodgers. Or Los Angeles could let him go and the White Sox would simply assume his salary.
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 (70-60) 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. Interestingly enough, the first two stops on their 10-game trip are Cleveland and Boston, two of Ramirez’s former clubs.
“We know what time it is,” second baseman Gordon Beckham said after Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees. “September is around the corner and we have to make a push.”
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.
The 12-time All-Star became a fan favorite when he arrived in Los Angeles, with a section of seats named in his honor at Chavez Ravine and wigs that mimicked his dreadlocks suddenly becoming fashionable. Ramirez performed so well down the stretch during his first season in Los Angeles that the Dodgers signed him to a two-year, $45 million contract.
The injuries and last season’s 50-game suspension following a failed drug test soured his stay, and Ramirez hasn’t spoken to reporters since spring training, when he said this would be his final season in L.A.
By Tom Fitton
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White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow