Dodgers place Manny Ramirez on waivers

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Let the waiver madness begin!

Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Dodgers have placed Manny Ramirez on waivers. According to Morosi, teams have until Friday to place a claim. If he is claimed, the deadline for a deal would be next Tuesday.

Ramirez, who was activated from the disabled list Saturday, just became eligible to be placed on waivers on Monday. The 38-year-old slugger is 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in two games since returning to the lineup.

The White Sox reportedly plan to place a waiver claim on Ramirez, but he’s no lock to make it to them. Of course, any team that makes a claim absorbs the potential risk that the Dodgers could just dump Ramirez and the $4-plus million remaining on his contract. The Rays have also been mentioned as a potential landing spot.

Ramirez isn’t the same player he was even two years ago, and his failure to stay on the field this season has a lot to do with that, but he is still batting .306/.396/.497 with a 894 OPS over 193 at-bats this season. Numbers aside, the mere presence of his right-handed bat down the stretch could make a real difference for a contender. 

Report: Indians, Padres still talking about starting pitching trade

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.

The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.

Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.

Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.

The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.