The Dodgers officially announced the signing of 2bman Orlando Hudson on Saturday. He will take over 2b for retired, and future HOFer, Jeff Kent. Hudson provides the Dodgers a good hitting 2bman, who has little pop, but hits for a high high average, and is above average defensively. He is light years better than Kent was in the field.
In addition to announcing the Hudson signing, GM Ned Colletti also announced that he has had more frequent, and longer, conversations with Scott Boras about Manny Ramirez than he has in the past two months. MLB.com's Ken Gurnick has the major points of contention in the contract talks:
The issue remains, primarily, the length of contract, with the Dodgers holding firm on two years, Ramirez wanting no less than four guaranteed at a salary in the range of Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million annually, although sources indicate a three-year deal with a vesting option might satisfy Ramirez if the salary is high enough.
Any settlement will most likely include an escape clause that would allow Ramirez a chance to revisit free agency should the market improve.
The section in bold above is my doing, and this is the first time I have heard that mentioned in any Manny rumors. Then we get these quotes from Joe Torre from the same Gurnick article:
Earlier Saturday, while discussing the acquisition of second baseman Orlando Hudson and how it might impact the Dodgers' roster, manager Joe Torre was asked who his left fielder would be.
"I'm certainly hoping Manny is starting out there," Torre said. "I'm not making other plans until I have to."
I think the deal gets done soon, which will, along with the addition of Hudson, give the Dodgers one of the better hitting lineups in the NL. Here is what their lineup will look like should they sign Manny:
Is there a better hitting lineup in the NL?? All of these guys are capable of hitting .280-.300, with the exception of Blake, but he is still around .270-give or take a few points in BA.
Once Manny is signed, Colletti needs to find an ace starting pitcher via trade. I think he will take care of that prior to the trade deadline.