Major Leagues: Manny, Dodgers reach deal
LOS ANGELES ó The dawn of a rainy late-winter day brought a breakthrough in the stalemate between Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
During a 6 a.m. meeting Wednesday at the Malibu beach house of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, the sides reached a preliminary agreement on a $45 million, two-year contract.
The deal is subject to the outfielder passing a physical, a person familiar with the talks said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the contract was not final.
“We got a great meeting,” Ramirez told KCAL-TV as he emerged from his physical in suburban Inglewood. “I’m happy to be here. We got some unfinished business, and that’s why I’m here.”
Ramirez gets $25 million this year and has until November to decide whether to void the second season, which calls for a $20 million salary. The deal includes a full no-trade provision, and some of the salary will be deferred.
“We all wanted the same thing and that’s what was apparent to me,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who left spring training in Arizona with general manager Ned Colletti to attend the session.
“After last year and the time he spent with us, we knew we wanted him back. It was just a matter of finding that common ground,” Torre said. “As Ned said, you talk on the phone and to different people, you need to get face-to-face. It was a real good meeting. There was a lot of comfortable conversation.”
The Dodgers were the only team to acknowledge pursuing Ramirez, a 12-time All-Star who turns 37 in May. Ramirez helped the Dodgers win the NL West by hitting .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 regular-season games. In the playoffs, he batted .520 with four homers, 10 RBIs, nine runs and 11 walks in eight games.
Torre, Colletti and McCourt attended the early meeting with Ramirez; the player’s agent, Scott Boras; and Boras’ assistant, Mike Fiore. The parties took about 3 hours for the deal to fall into place.
“There was not one uncomfortable moment,” Colletti said upon returning to Arizona later in the day. “It was more designed to put the personality back into the picture instead of just the negotiations. Manny seemed very happy and excited about the possibility, and I thought it was very good.”