"They've got to be looking at revenue leveling off," he said. "They may not have a problem for the next year, but baseball owners have to be concerned about turnstiles and renewing deals."
And then there is the character issue, the concern that Ramirez might not play as hard or as well without the carrot of a new contract to motivate him.
In Boston, team officials said privately that Ramirez refused to play in some games, and gave less than full effort in others, after the Red Sox declined to guarantee $40 million in contract options through 2010.
The commissioner's office continues to investigate the circumstances of his trade to Los Angeles, which Ramirez and Boras approved only after the Red Sox waived the contract provisions that stood in the way of his chance at a new contract this fall.
Ramirez did not wish to discuss that, or anything else, as he cleaned out his Dodger Stadium locker Thursday.
He declined to answer any questions, disappearing into an elevator as reporters trailed him.
"I'll send you guys a Christmas card," he said.
Times staff writer Dylan Hernandez contributed to this report.
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Manny Ramirez is reportedly seeking a contract for up to six years, which would make him 42 at its conclusion. Most sluggers see their home run output fall considerably as they reach their mid-30s. Here is how age has affected the home run totals of some of the game's greatest stars. Home runs hit before and after turning 36 years old, with average per season in parentheses (*-denotes active):
*--* Player Before 36 After 36 Barry Bonds 494 (32.9) 268 (38.3) Hank Aaron 554 (34.6) 201 (28.7) Rafael Palmeiro 400 (26.7) 169 (33.8) Babe Ruth 565 (35.9) 149 (29.8) Reggie Jackson 425 (28.3) 138 (23) Frank Thomas* 418 (29.9) 103 (20.6) Willie Mays 564 (37.6) 96 (13.7) Mike Schmidt 458 (32.7) 90 (22.5) Frank Robinson 503 (31.4) 83 (16.6) Ken Griffey Jr.* 536 (31.5) 75 (25) Mark McGwire 522 (37.3) 61 (30.5) Sammy Sosa 574 (35.9) 35 (17.5) Mickey Mantle 518 (30.5) 18 (18) *--*