Yesterday, the Dodgers made the best offer Manny Ramirez had seen this off-season — $25 million this season, a player option for $20 million next year and a third year based on incentives. In this market, that is Monopoly money.
Today, the Dodgers got a letter saying thanks but no thanks. Seriously. Apparently Manny still thinks that four years at $25 million a year is still out there while teams are slashing payroll and personnel.
Dodger officials suggested that Manny has just rejected the best offer he is going to see this year.
"We love Manny Ramirez," said Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt, "And we want Manny back, but we feel we are negotiating against ourselves. When his agent finds those 'serious offers' from other clubs, we'll be happy to re-start the negotiations.
"Even with an economy that has substantially eroded since last November, out of respect for Manny and his talents, we actually improved our offer.
"So now, we start from scratch."
The going rate for big slugging left fielders so far this off-season has been $10 million a year. Manny was offered 150% of that and said no. The issue appears to be deferred mone, the deal would pay "only" $10 million this year and next, with the remaining $15 million paid out over three years. That's the kind of offer you see in these economic times, but apparently Boras and Manny don't get that
No Dodger fan in their right mind wants to see Juan Pierre out in left field when the season starts, but that is a better option than giving in to what Manny demands.
Apparently, our regional nightmare is not over, and may well last into the start of the season. That should make us all a little queasy.