GM unsure if sides are close to deal
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- General manager Ned Colletti called the Los Angeles Dodgers' latest offer to Manny Ramirez a "significant concession" by the team but said he's not sure how close the sides might be to a deal.
Colletti and owner Frank McCourt met Wednesday in Los Angeles with Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, and offered the free-agent slugger a $25 million, one-year contract with a $20 million player option for 2010.
"It obviously gives Manny a lot of flexibility. If he were to agree to something like that, then nine, 10 months from now he is free to try the market again," Colletti said Thursday. "So if you have the chance to be guaranteed or the chance to do something else, it's a pretty good spot to be in."
The offer is similar to the two-year, $45 million deal with a buyout or club option that the Dodgers put on the table in November. Ramirez refused the offer and the Dodgers withdrew their proposal. The team came back with a one-year, $25 million offer, but Ramirez turned that down as well.
Colletti and McCourt made the new offer during a meeting with Boras in McCourt's office in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, after Colletti flew over from the Dodgers' spring training complex in Phoenix.
"It's more powerful when the owner of the franchise is involved in the meeting," Colletti said.
Colletti, in Scottsdale on Thursday for the Dodgers' exhibition game against San Francisco, said he hadn't heard from Boras before the game.
"We expect to hear from Scott. I don't know what we're going to hear," Colletti said. "I don't get optimistic. A deal is either done or it is not done."
Colletti said there was not necessarily a hard deadline and that Ramirez was not yet needed in spring training.
"With the season starting a week later, it's a little bit more flexible than it might have been a year ago," Colletti said.
The Dodgers open the regular season April 6 at San Diego.
Ramirez hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 53 games with the Dodgers last season while leading them to the NL West title after he was acquired from Boston at the July 31 trade deadline.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press