Dodgers, Ramirez remain far apart
The Dodgers' initial offer for Manny Ramirez almost certainly will be rejected
Other teams likely have moved ahead of the Dodgers in the Ramirez derby
Even if the Dodgers up the ante, a two-year deal is unlikely to entice Manny
DANA POINT, Calif. -- The Dodgers' two year-offer to Manny Ramirez -- believed to be for about $45 million -- is very unlikely to lead to a quick deal between the sides, or perhaps any deal.
The sides are so far apart that the Blue Jays, Orioles and perhaps the Yankees and other teams likely have moved ahead of the Dodgers in terms of their chances to win the services of the mercurial superstar. Those outside teams aren't eligible to make offers until Nov. 14, but the Dodgers have thus far failed to get a jump start on the others with a proposal so far below Ramirez's asking price that Manny is likely thinking more seriously about outside options now.
The Dodgers might consider upping their bid at some point, but if they do, a person connected to the team suggested it would most likely be only a bump in salary, not in years, at least initially. The Dodgers may eventually come close to matching Alex Rodriguez's record annual salary with a two-year, $55 million proposal, but will likely need to be pushed by fan response to go to three years, according to that person.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti on Wednesday conceded that their talks involving Ramirez were going slow, saying, "I think it'll take awhile ... it usually does.''
The Blue Jays, Orioles and Yankees might be feeling better about coming closer to Ramirez's wish of at least a five-year deal since they could eventually utilize the great right-handed hitter as a DH. Toronto badly wants to upgrade its offense, Baltimore appears serious about becoming a player for multiple free agents (the Orioles are also looking at Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett) and the Yankees are expected to be the biggest free-agent force this winter.
One executive with an American League team said he thought it was possible Ramirez -- who saved the Dodgers' season by hitting .397 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 53 games -- could get a five or six-year deal. A two-year deal, even at record price, is unlikely to entice Ramirez, 36.
Colletti declined to provide the exact details of their contract offer when he made his public pronouncement about their proposal Wednesday, and he couldn't be reached late Thursday after returning a call in the afternoon. Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, pointed out at the GM meetings that he negotiated a five-year contract for Bonds with the very same Colletti when Bonds was 37, and Colletti smiled when that was mentioned to him, saying, "I'm well aware of the players'' involved in the negotiations.
But Boras' words apparently haven't swayed the Dodgers to come close to their request for at least a five-year deal yet. Boras also couldn't be reached late Thursday, after the GM meetings here broke up.