If claimed, can Manny Ramirez help the White Sox?

July 04, 2010 - Phoenix, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES - epa02237018 Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez placed on the Designated Injury List (DL) watches from the dugout during the regular season game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 04 July 2010.

Due to a calf injury that has sidelined him for the better part of a decade, Manny Ramirez has completely fallen off the baseball map over the last couple of months.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers will likely put Manny on waivers sometime this week, which would end his brief stay in “Mannywood.” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that if L.A. does put the aging outfielder on waivers, the White Sox plan to claim him for the stretch run.

But does Ramirez have anything left to give a contender?

Let’s get this out of the way first: the Dodgers have little to know need for him at this point. He’s a free agent at the end of the year and seeing as how Scott Podsednik (picked up in a mid-season trade) gives the club three quality starters in the outfield, L.A. might as well get something for Manny while they still can.

Despite the general consensus that Ramirez is washed up, keep in mind that he’s still hitting .312 this year with a slugging percentage north of .500. Yes, injuries are a major concern, but if he can stay healthy for the final 35-plus games then he could give a team like the White Sox a shot in the arm.

Now losers of seven of their last 10, the Sox continue to slide further behind the Twins in the AL Central. They’re currently 4.5 games out of first place in the division and seemingly have zero chance of catching the Yankees or the Rays for the Wild Card now that they’re 9.5 back in that race.

Paul Konerko continues to carry this club, but Alex Rios has started to fade and Carlos Quentin has been incredibly streaky. If Ramirez (who obviously knows American League pitching) can be had for cheap, there should be nothing stopping GM Kenny Williams from claiming him.

That said, Manny still has to get past all the National League teams and clubs with a worse record than the Sox. Plus, the Dodgers and Sox would still have to agree to a deal.

But if all of that happens, the Sox have nothing to lose at this point. They could use another bat and while Manny probably won’t be the difference between them making the playoffs this year or not, he still has enough left in the tank to provide a spark.

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