Ramirez to Sox far from done

CHICAGO -- While not confirming or denying the White Sox’s interest in Manny Ramirez, a Major League source shot down a Chicago Sun-Times report Wednesday that the team was “closing in on a deal,” for the veteran slugger.

The Sun-Times’ report also stated that “the deal appeared to be close Wednesday.”

The basic problem with the report, according to the source, is that all teams have until Friday to put in a claim on Ramirez so it isn’t as if the Dodgers were closing in on deals with clubs for their veteran outfielder in anticipation of them winning a claim.

“It is unlikely that any team would be bearing down on a deal before [Friday],” the source said.

There is no doubt the White Sox would be interested in adding Ramirez to the fold. It just wouldn’t happen until the weekend if they did.

The White Sox are expected to put in a claim, but will play the waiting game until Friday. If any National League team put in a claim for Ramirez by Friday, that team would get first rights to work on a deal with the Dodgers. Otherwise the Dodgers could pull him back off waivers and keep him.

Not only do National League teams have first crack at Ramirez, all American League teams with a worse record than the White Sox would have first chance at Ramirez as well.

“It’s not easy to get anything and that’s why the (July 31) trading deadline is so important,” general manager Williams said. “You try to make sure you fortify your team and you exhaust yourself to do it because you just don’t know what the waiver wire will yield, and this year, it seems like there have been more blocks than there have been in the past.”

At the nonwaiver trade deadline, the White Sox reportedly offered to take Ramirez off the Dodgers’ hands, offering no prospects in return and saying they would pay just $1 million of the over $7 million he was owed at that point. The Dodgers wasted little time rejecting that offer.

The latest reports are saying that the cash-strapped Dodgers would indeed be willing to eat some of Ramirez’s salary in exchange for top prospects.

Ramirez has a full no-trade clause so he would have to approve a deal to the White Sox. During the 2005 American League Division Series between the White Sox and Red Sox, one White Sox player revealed that Ramirez said he would enjoy playing for somebody as outspoken as manager Ozzie Guillen.