Months-long negotiations finally near the end for popular slugger.
The Dodgers have
agreed in principal on a two-year, $45 million deal to re-sign free
agent left fielder Manny Ramirez, a baseball source said on Wednesday
The deal was closed, pending a physical, at a meeting in Los
Angeles attended by Ramirez, his agents Scott Boras and Mike Fiore,
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, general manager Ned Colletti and manager
Joe Torre, the latter duo both flying from Spring Training camp on
Tuesday night for the session.
Torre and Colletti were already winging their way back to
Phoenix this morning and are expected to arrive in time for Wednesday's
Cactus League game between the Dodgers and Giants at Camelback Ranch.
The manager was summoned back to Los Angeles along with Colletti for
what turned out to be the final negotiating session in a 4 1/2-month
effort to get the free agent to return to the Dodgers.
Ramirez accepted the same deal the Dodgers offered last
Wednesday — two years, $45 million ($25 million in 2009, $20 million
in 2010), payment deferred over five years without interest, with an
opt-out clause after one season paid at $10 million each for the first
four years and $5 million for the fifth.
But both sides indicated Tuesday night that the deal could not
be completed until all primary parties met face-to-face in Los Angeles
Wednesday. Ramirez flew in from Florida Tuesday night for the meeting.
Ramirez, 37 in May, originally sought a contract length of six years at
a salary in the Alex Rodriguez neighborhood ($27.5 million a year). The
Dodgers initially offered two years at $45 million plus a $15 million
third-year option. They also offered salary arbitration, then made a
one-year offer of $25 million before presenting an offer last week
loosely based on the original two-year, $45 million deal, dropping the
option year and adding the player opt-out clause at the request of
Story by Ken Gurnick and Barry M. Bloom, reporters for MLB.com.