Apparently one source called a lot of Dodger media yesterday saying a deal was basically in place for Manny Ramirez. Some people -- Vic the Brick at 570 AM, for example -- just ran with it. Others did the responsible thing and made a few calls. Let’s let the LA Times Bill Shaikin explain.
This source warranted our attention, in part because we believed he might actually know and in part because of the specifics of his information. He said the contract would be for two guaranteed years, with a third-year vesting option -- that is, the third year would become guaranteed if Ramirez reached a specific number of games played or plate appearances in the first two years.
However, since the source did not have the last name of McCourt, Colletti, Boras or Ramirez, we set out to try to confirm the information. Dylan Hernandez, on site at the Dodgers' spring camp in Arizona, and I made a round of calls.
Long story short: It all makes sense, but no confirmation.
Here's what Scott Boras, the agent for Ramirez, told Hernandez: "I'm not going to address that."
Here's what Ned Colletti, the Dodgers' general manager, told Hernandez: "I think you'd be foolish" to print the unverified information.
Still, it is not unreasonable to believe the negotiations are approaching the end game.
The deal as suggested is pretty close to what the Dodgers first offered: Two years at $45 million, with a third year at $15 million if Manny hits certain benchmarks in his second year.
Here’s the thing about sources: They have an agenda, too. They are giving the reporter information for a reason. Did someone in the Dodgers leak this to let Manny know this was the best offer, and maybe to scare off the Giants or anyone else? There are other motives to release this as well.
So while this rumor makes sense, we’ll wait to see some confirmation. Manny would probably like to miss a few more wind sprints at Spring Training, so this may not be as close as some people think.