Does any GM have the guts to take a chance on Manny Ramirez?


is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment this week, which means he should be activated and will return to the Dodgers before the August 31st waiver deal deadline. And if he’s back, you can bet the Dodgers will place him on waivers (as Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney both note today).  So: anyone gonna claim him?

Ramirez is still owed about $3-5
million for the rest of this season. His rate stats for the year are good, and as everyone knows, a motivated Manny has the potential to be a difference maker. Still, I think the odds favor Ramirez clearing waivers and being dealt to a team that is willing to have him, but not his entire salary.

My thinking: despite the upside, standard business politics are going to win the day here, and the politics of the situation go like this: no GM is going to be blamed for not taking an available Manny Ramirez. Many GMs won’t be blamed for taking Manny Ramirez at a discount. Almost any GM, however, will set himself up for massive criticism if he takes a full-price Manny Ramirez on waivers and the move results in anything less than a playoff berth.

There’s just too much baggage with Ramirez anymore. He’s the kind of guy that can get someone fired. And no one is going to risk that.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.