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Yankees not interested in Ramirez

Dodgers, Devil Rays, Orioles, and Mets are possible options

The New York Yankees have "absolutely no interest whatsoever" in picking up Manny Ramirez off waivers, an industry source told the Globe this afternoon.

The Red Sox placed Ramirez on irrevocable waivers last night, according to baseball sources. Teams have until 1 p.m. tomorrow to make a claim for Ramirez.

The Yankees, who were one of the teams thought to have enough money to pick up the rest of Ramirez' contract (5 years, $101.5 million), are now apparently out of the running.

Other teams that could afford Ramirez include the Dodgers -- recently bought by Boston developer Frank McCourt -- Baltimore, and the New York Mets.

If no team claims Ramirez, he will remain with the Red Sox next season.

Ramirez hit .325 this year, one point behind teammate Bill Mueller for the AL batting title, and had 37 homers and 104 RBIs. The Red Sox won the wild card and advanced to AL championship series before losing to the Yankees in seven games.

Red Sox spokesman Kevin Shea declined to comment on the waiver situation. "The waiver procedure is a confidential procedure, and we're prohibited from commenting on it," he told the Associated Press. "We're not permitted to say whether a player is on or is not on waivers."

Ramirez's agent, Jeff Moorad, did not return calls to the AP.

If a team claims Ramirez by tomorrow's 1 p.m. deadline, Ramirez's time with the Sox will be up. Unlike regular waivers, the Red Sox cannot pull Ramirez back if he is claimed. If he is not claimed, Boston will keep him, but can try to trade him.

If there are still no takers, then the move will have backfired; the Red Sox will be stuck with a Ramirez who knows he is not wanted by the club. That could create some interesting scenarios, based upon Ramirez's past behavior.

By ridding themselves of Ramirez, the Sox would have more money to spend on other players, such as pitcher Pedro Martinez, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, right fielder Trot Nixon, pitcher Derek Lowe, and catcher Jason Varitek, all of whom become free agents at the end of next season. It would also allow them to dabble in a free agent market that includes Montreal right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, and pitchers Bartolo Colon of the White Sox and Kevin Millwood of the Phillies.

During the 2003 post-season, his first with the Red Sox, Ramirez batted .265 with three homers and seven RBIs. He is widely regarded as one of the most feared hitters in the game, but his off-field shenanigans and aloof behavior created a nuisance in the Boston clubhouse.

Perhaps the most notable episode came in early September when Ramirez missed a weekend series against the Yankees with a sore throat and fever, but was spotted with New York infielder Enrique Wilson at a Boston hotel bar. He also failed to show up for an appointment with the team doctor.

When former manager Grady Little - let go by the Sox earlier this week -- asked Ramirez to pinch-hit in Philadelphia the next day, the outfielder said he was too weak. Little benched Ramirez the following evening in Chicago, a move the players applauded.

Former Sox GM manager Dan Duquette signed Ramirez in the winter of 2000 after Duquette lost out on acquiring Baltimore free agent pitcher Mike Mussina, who signed with the Yankees. After his $20.5 million salary in 2004, Ramirez is scheduled to earn $20 million in 2005, $19 million in 2006, $18 million in 2007 and $20 million in 2008. His club options for 2009 and 2010 are each worth $20 million.

Boston.com's Eric Wilbur contributed to this report.

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