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. 

Braves clinch NL East title

Ender Inciarte
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So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.

The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.

Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.

Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.

With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.