Our long national nightmare might finally be over. According to a report by ESPN's Enrique Rojas, Manny Ramirez is close to coming to terms with the Dodgers on a deal that will pay the slugger $45 million over two years. Ken Gurnick and Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com talked to Ramirez's agent Scott Boras, who told them, "I'm still working on it, but it's yet to be finalized."
Ramirez, who came to Los Angeles at last year's trade deadline and helped propel the team all the way to the NLCS, is the last major free agent still unsigned and had previously rejected four offers from the Dodgers, first because he lusted after a nine-figure contract and, more recently, because of a disagreement between him and the team over the amount of deferred money in any deal.
Obviously, there are bound to be questions about how happy Ramirez will be with such a deal. He pouted and shoved his way out of Boston because he was unhappy with the consecutive $20 million options the Red Sox held on him for 2009 and 2010. As it turns out, his outrageous antics may have only made him $5 million, and that's before even talking about potential deferred money.
Truth be told, Ramirez just couldn't command the type of deal he wanted in this market, and it has little to do with his poor behavior in Boston. The economic downturn has owners and general managers acting ultra-cautious. There were also a number of similar all-hit, no-glove outfielders available in free agency this winter (Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn), further depressing his value. In fact, Los Angeles seems to be the only team that formally submitted an offer.
All that aside, this could represent a huge boost for the Dodgers on the field, even if they do overpay for Ramirez's services.
Though he's 36, Manny is one of the most potent offensive forces in the game, and scoring runs hasn't come easy to Los Angeles over the last few seasons. He would represent a major upgrade over Juan Pierre, who is currently at the top of the left field depth chart, and with him and Rafael Furcal back in the fold and Orlando Hudson at the keystone, the Dodgers might just be the favored to win the NL West again in 2009.
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Manny Ramirez Reportedly Closer to Agreement With Dodgers originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 03 Mar 2009 22:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.