The latest rumors concerning Ramirez involve the Dodgers, who finished a series sweep of the Brewers with a 7-1 win, having reportedly already discussed a potential trade with the Chicago White Sox, even though he has yet to clear waivers. Additionally, USA Today reports that friends of Ramirez have said the 12-time All-Star has told them he would waive his no-trade clause to approve a trade to the White Sox.
According to a report from FOXSports.com, part of the deal with Ramirez waiving his no-trade clause to go to Chicago would require a one-year contract extension. In the same report, the Dodgers are said to have had trade talks about Ramirez with at least one other team, and may not even trade the left fielder if they continue to improve in the Nationals League Wild Card standings.
With all that, it would be easy for Ramirez and the Dodgers to be distracted by what's going on off the field. Asked for his thoughts for a third straight day in Milwaukee, manager Joe Torre pointed to Ramirez's past experiences.
"He's been around," Torre said. "The type of marquee player he is and the places he's played, he's certainly used to distractions. You don't play in Boston without having to put yourself in a shell."
Teams have until Friday to make a waiver claim on Ramirez, and then until Tuesday to work out a deal. If a team is rewarded the claim, Los Angeles has three options: It can try to work out a trade with just that team, reward Ramirez to the claiming team outright - meaning that club will absorb his remaining prorated salary - or pull him off waivers.
If Ramirez winds up clearing waivers, then the Dodgers can negotiate with anyone.
Clubs normally have two business days to work out a trade with a claiming team, but since Saturday and Sunday fall in the middle in this case, the Dodgers have two extra days - four total - to make a deal work if they choose to. That could explain why Los Angeles waited until Wednesday to put its slugger on waivers.
Tuesday is also the deadline for new players to be eligible for postseason rosters.
The waiver system goes in reverse order of the standings and starts with a player's current league, meaning all the National League clubs have to pass on claiming Ramirez - starting with the last-place Pirates - before AL clubs have a shot.
The Rays have also been seen as a potential suitor, but since they have a better record than the White Sox, Chicago has first dibs.
A team that claims a player on waivers runs the risk of absorbing unwanted payroll. Ramirez is making $20 million in the final season of his contract, which comes out to a prorated salary of a little more than $4 million (though some of that money is reportedly deferred).
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.