And just like that, Manny Ramirez is on his way out of town.
The Chicago White Sox, who claimed him off waivers on Friday, are about to acquire the veteran for nothing but salary relief.
Ramirez is owed anyhwere from $4.1-$4.4 million for the rest of the season depending which source you believe. Either way, this is a win for the Dodgers -- and the White Sox.
The White Sox get a guy who isn't always the most motivated player playing for a 2011 contract. There's no doubt in my mind he's going to mash. He's going to be a hot fantasy waiver wire pickup.
The Dodgers were reportedly deciding whether or not to pay a portion of Ramirez's salary to acquire third base prospect Jon Gilmore from the White Sox. Gilmore is in his age-21 season (just turned 22) and has a solid .318 average and .354 on-base percentage, but he hits for minimal power. His career slugging percentage in the minors is .380, which just isn't going to cut it at the hot corner. He also owns an .887 fielding percentage, which could spell a move to a corner outfield position.
Long story short, he's a fringe prospect at best (not ranked by Baseball America in the White Sox's top 30). It seems the Dodgers know this and aren't going to send any money to Chicago.
The Dodgers get some much-needed salary relief. There's no way they were going to offer Ramirez arbitration after the season, so getting him off the books (for this season, at least) a month early is well worth it. Not to mention he's played sparingly since returning from the disabled list.
The Boston fans tried to warn us Dodger fans of Ramirez's antics. We were so blinding by his mashing that we blew them off and said they were just jealous. Now, far be it from me to agree with anything that comes from Boston -- but they were right.
Aside from the last two months of the 2008 season, Ramirez has been a disappointment. His numbers have been solid (.297/.413/.524), but that hasn't been enough for Dodger fans to overlook everything else -- 50-game suspension, lack of hustle at times, his 2010 season, etc.
This guy won over the L.A. crowd in the matter of a few weeks. That is a difficult feat that almost no athlete can lay claim to. Hell, for a time, he was probably more popular than Kobe Bryant. But how quickly that went away.
Ramirez might very well the best hitter the Dodgers have ever had. Even without the performance-enhancing drugs, the guy was still going to get into the Hall of Fame (kind of like the 'roider [allegedly] in 'Frisco).
It's unfortunate the Ramirez-L.A. relationship had to end this way. He had a chance to be as beloved as Fernando Valenzuela, but he couldn't take advantage of that.
Ramirez may not help the ChiSox get into the playoffs, but he'll rip the cover off the ball, ultimately earning a 1- or 2-year deal following the season from an American League team.
In the meantime, Scott Podsednik should start the majority of the season in left field. Come the winter, the Dodgers will -- once again -- be looking for a big bat to plop in the middle of the lineup.