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Dodgers make one-year offer to Manny Ramirez

Colletti confirms the club has made the offer. A source says it's worth $25 for one season.

February 03, 2009|Dylan Hernandez

Manny Ramirez wasted no time rejecting the Dodgers' latest offer, a one-year, $25-million proposal that was presented Sunday to his agent, Scott Boras.

In a conversation with Times columnist T.J. Simers late Monday night, Boras said he informed Ramirez about what he classified a suggestion by the Dodgers and that the All-Star outfielder turned it down. Boras said that he informed the Dodgers of Ramirez's decision.

The contract offered by the Dodgers was shorter than the one they offered him in November -- a two-year, $45-million deal that was later withdrawn.

General Manager Ned Colletti declined to comment on the financial details of the latest proposal but confirmed that an offer was extended to Ramirez, who hasn't received any known proposals from another team.

Boras told Simers that Ramirez is drawing interest from other teams.

Colletti and team counsel Sam Fernandez had met with Boras and his associate, Mike Fiore, Sunday night.

The contract the Dodgers offered to Ramirez in November was guaranteed for two years and included an option for a third that could have increased its total value to $60 million. The Dodgers proposed paying Ramirez $15 million this year and $22.5 million in 2010. The deal included a $22.5-million option for 2011 that the Dodgers could have bought out for $7.5 million.

Days later, Boras said he expected to field "serious offers" once the Dodgers' exclusive negotiating window with Ramirez expired. The offer later expired.

Ramirez declined the Dodgers' offer for arbitration in December, something that probably would have landed him a one-year deal similar to the one on the table, and Boras was known to be asking for a four-year deal that included an option for a fifth year.

Despite proclamations from Boras last week that he started negotiating with other clubs and that he expected Ramirez to be signed by the start of spring training, the Dodgers seem to believe that the player has nowhere else to go.

The New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals are among the teams known to be monitoring Ramirez's situation but don't appear inclined to pay him more than $20 million a season. The Angels failed to re-sign All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira, another Boras client, but have said they won't bid for Ramirez.

By taking the offer, Ramirez would have become the second-highest-paid player in baseball behind Alex Rodriguez and could have reentered the free-agent pool in a year. The Dodgers liked the idea of having Ramirez in a contract year, figuring the temperamental star would play as hard as he did in his two months with them last season, when he hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 runs batted in.

The Dodgers could find themselves in a bind if Ramirez receives a multi-year offer from another club. If Ramirez is offered what he considers a fair deal, sources close to him say that he wouldn't grant the Dodgers a chance to match it, forcing the Dodgers to go into spring training without their only star attraction and reliable run producer.

Failure to re-sign Ramirez could result in the pursuit of Bobby Abreu or Adam Dunn, who remain available.

Asked whether the Dodgers would turn to other options if Ramirez rejected their latest proposal, Colletti replied, "We'll see."

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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