Ramirez trade on hold as Dodgers heat up

Not so fast on that Manny Ramirez(notes) sendoff.

While Ramirez was working his way through the waiver procedures, the Los Angeles Dodgers were playing themselves to the edge of National League wild-card contention, meaning general manager Ned Colletti might want to see more before pulling the trigger on a trade.

A calf injury pushed Ramirez’s appearance on the waiver wire to Wednesday. But, as a result, the Dodgers won’t have to make a decision – whether to pull Ramirez back, trade him or award a team its claim (for about $4 million) – until as late as Tuesday, if they choose. A player acquired before Sept. 1 is eligible for the playoffs.

Meantime, the Dodgers’ win in Milwaukee on Thursday was their third in a row and their fifth in seven games, the mini-surge cutting their wild-card deficit to five games. Ahead of them, the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals are struggling.

The decision on whether to move Ramirez or hope he gets hot, stays hot and helps carry a soft offense could be hour to hour, depending on how the Dodgers’ series in Colorado goes this weekend. The Dodgers trail the Rockies, fourth in the wild-card race, by a game. They then begin a three-game home series against the Phillies on Monday.

The Dodgers, therefore, could make clubs interested in Ramirez – the Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and perhaps others – wait until the final hours of August before learning whether Ramirez is truly available. They have not had substantive conversations regarding Ramirez with any team.

Ramirez doubled twice on Wednesday night and did not play Thursday, sitting during a day game after a night game in deference to his calf.