Manny Ramirez could become the $60 million man if he stays in Los Angeles. But the slugger is guaranteed at least $45 million if he accepts the Dodgers' initial offer, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Dodgers' initial offer to Ramirez contains a club option for a third year that could take the deal to $60 million, but includes a $7.5 million buyout guaranteeing him at least $45 million, the Times reported on Tuesday.
Ramirez would have made approximately $40 million over the next two seasons if the two option years in the contract he originally signed with the Boston Red Sox in the 2000 offseason had been exercised. As part of his trade to the Dodgers this season, however, Los Angeles agreed not to exercise the option years.
Citing a source close to the negotiations, the Times reported that Ramirez would earn $15 million next season, $22.5 million in 2010 and the same in 2011 if the team exercised its option. The final year can be bought out for $7.5 million.
Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, who already has said that the length of the initial Dodgers offer is not acceptable, said in Thursday's editions of the Times: "On behalf of Manny Ramirez, we will, for the first time, begin accepting serious financial offers on Friday."
The Dodgers likely aren't done crunching the numbers in trying to bring back Ramirez. The Times reported that according to a source, owner Frank McCourt has not ruled out the possibility of offering a guaranteed third year.
Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio last week, Boras called the talks with the Dodgers "preliminary." When asked if he was adamant that Ramirez receive a six-year deal, Boras wouldn't go into specifics but pointed to the contracts that he negotiated for Barry Bonds with the Giants and Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees.
Bonds' deal, which Boras negotiated with Colletti when the current Dodgers GM was with San Francisco, lasted until he was 42 years old and Rodriguez's contract will expire when he is 42. If Ramirez were to sign a six-year contract this offseason, it would expire when he is 42.
When asked if Ramirez would accept a four-year deal, Boras said he wasn't about to negotiate a contract on a national radio show, but did say this:
"Manny is seeking something that is fair based on what players like him have received in the past," Boras said on the ESPN Radio appearance.
Ramirez hit .396 with 17 homers, 53 RBIs, 36 runs scored, 74 hits and 35 walks in 53 regular-season games with Los Angeles, leading the Dodgers to the NL West title.
He was even more potent in the postseason, hitting .520 with four homers, 10 RBIs, nine runs scored and 11 walks in eight playoff games.
The 12-time All-Star has hit 527 career homers, with another 28 in the postseason.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.