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What should the Dodgers do with Manny Ramirez when he does return?

Manny Ramirez is coming back, supposedly, possibly.

If you cup your ear and really, really lean forward, can you hear the cavalry coming?

Nah, probably not.

So then, what? What do the Dodgers do with their $20-million, soon-to-be-free-agent outfielder?

Trade him? Waive him? Blow him a kiss, welcome him back for the last five weeks?

If in two weeks the Dodgers are still 10 games out of first and 6½ games behind the wild-card leader, then it makes sense to see whether someone is interested in the dreadlocked onetime slugger.

Of course, that would be akin to raising the white flag on the 2010 season. Or as it’s known in the real world, facing reality. Still, it’s something the Dodgers, and General Manager Ned Colletti, understandably are loath to do. It’s just so anti-Los Angeles and all.

Still, many -- including’sBuster Olney (requires Insider status) -- expect that once Manny is activated from the disabled list, he will be placed on the waiver wire.

Which could cause all kinds of interesting scenarios and dilemmas for several clubs.

If you’re the White Sox, do you put a claim on him, knowing full well the Dodgers might let him go through to unload the almost $5 million left on his contract? That would be plenty more than the $1 million the White Sox offered Colletti prior to the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline.

Would the Red Sox have to consider making a claim on him to prevent him from going to the rival Yankees, Rays or Rangers? Is that just too weird to contemplate? OK, it is, but I love it.

The Yankees are unpredictable, the Rays already have a $72-million payroll and the Rangers already have a DH in Vladimir Guerrero.

Still, though Manny may not be the slugger he was pre-female fertility drugs -- or maybe just pre-38 years -- he’s shown this season he can still be an effective hitter (.317 batting average, .516 slugging percentage) when healthy.

Of course, there is the matter of staying healthy. He’s been on the disabled list three times this season with right leg injuries. And there is the matter of his staying consistently focused enough to be productive.

I think you can assume Manny will return focused, since he will essentially be playing for next year’s contract.

Joe Torre expects Manny to return from his Phoenix sabbatical Tuesday, and then likely head off for a rehab assignment for at least the rest of the week.

That gives him only about a week to play and show other clubs he’s healthy. He cannot be waived until activated off the DL.

Then all kinds of twisted fun can start.

-- Steve Dilbeck
Comments () | Archives (9)

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Scott Boras eats guys like Frank "buffoon" McCourt for lunch. Betcha he convinces Frank to pay Manny another million as a contract completion bonus.

Let the twisted fun begin!

Joe bought that car on a used car lot. He couldn't get them take it off his hands for parts.

Trader Ned needs to do his stuff

It doesn't matter what the Dodgers do with Ramirez. Oh, they'll probably play him. Heck, they might as well make it look as if he's earning some of his salary. But after Kuo and Dotel let this one get away, the Dodgers are 11 games behind the Padres (12 in the loss column) and seven behind the Giants for the wild card. It's over.

A cup of Bigelow tea everyday keeps the trainers away from Manny.

Treat him the way he treated the Dodgers & Red Sox. Have the guy who signs the paychecks disappear for a couple of months.

He gets to sit on his big fat @$$ and collect his big fat paycheck.

Manny Ramirez is nothing else if not a proud Latino, and if given the chance, he will give his all to show LA and the rest of baseball that he can still play. He doesn't want to leave the Dodgers and their fans on a bad note. And he has to impress someone in the AL enough to find a DH job next year. Stick him in the lineup as soon as he's ready and give him a chance to redeem himself...and to earn a spot on someone's roster next season.


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