INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) – Kenny Williams was asked whether Manny Ramirez would be a good fit for the Chicago White Sox.

“He’s not that kind of guy,” the general manager of the World Series champions said Thursday. “We have a certain kind of chemistry.”

Point made. Boston will not be dealing Ramirez to Chicago.

While he had 45 homers and 144 RBIs for the Red Sox last season, there appears to be a limited market for Ramirez, who asked Boston to explore trade options because he’s uncomfortable living there.

New Philadelphia GM Pat Gillick said there’s no room for the 33-year-old Ramirez in the Phillies’ outfield, which has Bobby Abreu in right and Pat Burrell in left.

“Our corners are pretty good,” Gillick said. “In high school he played center, but I don’t think he can play center anymore.”

Last July, the Red Sox and New York Mets held trade talks about Ramirez, and both sides agreed they didn’t get very far. The Los Angeles Angels, who want a power hitter, could be a match. Perhaps Ramirez would want to return to the Cleveland Indians, his former team. Ramirez is owed $57 million during the next three years and has the right to block trades, so the Red Sox and his agent pledged to work together.

General managers completed the formal part of their meetings Thursday, delaying until their December meeting in Dallas a decision on whether to move back the amateur draft until late June.

Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president for baseball operations in the commissioner’s office, said commissioner Bud Selig was asked during Wednesday’s sessions whether he expected any change in the designated hitter rule, which is used in the American League but not in the National.

“He said for the foreseeable future we’ll be doing the same thing we have been doing,” Solomon said.

During the week, GMs bandied about big names for possible deals, including Ramirez, Florida first baseman Carlos Delgado, Texas second baseman Alfonso Soriano and Tampa Bay closer Danys Baez. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said teams always are interested in right-hander Chien-Ming Wang and second baseman Robinson Cano, rookies who performed well last season with low salaries.

“That’s what November, December and January are for, exploration of the possibilities of big ideas, big trades, transformations of rosters,” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said.

Starting Friday, more than 175 free agents will be able to negotiate contracts with all teams.

The market could go up significantly for relief pitchers, who appear to be coveted. While closers such as Billy Wagner and B.J. Ryan figure to get big money, there’s likely to be a trickle-down to setup men such as left-hander Scott Eyre and right-hander Bobby Howry.

“Everybody needs pitching. There’s not a lot of pitchers out there,” Gillick said. “So supply and demand.”

Because of the relative lack of depth in the free-agent market, many teams are exploring trades first.

“People are being very aggressive and getting right to the point as to what they are willing to do and what they’re not willing to do,” Williams said.

While the Yankees are seeking a center fielder and setup men, their immediate goal is to re-sign left fielder Hideki Matsui, whose contract says he must be put on unconditional release waivers if he doesn’t agree to a new deal by Tuesday.

“We’ve got to the 15th to try to get something done,” Cashman said. “In the meantime, I’m gathering all the information about what the available players on the trade market and the free-agent market are. We’ll prioritize those.

“In the event on Nov. 16 we don’t have Hideki Matsui, it will be another avenue to pursue.”

Mets general manager Omar Minaya said he planned to be aggressive and probably would start making offers to free agents Friday. He said it is likely New York won’t trade Mike Cameron.

“If I had to guess right now, I see him as my right fielder,” he said.


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