The Dodgers continue to dominate the early Hot Stove talk today. SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers are willing to meet Manny Ramirez's salary demand, but don't want to go much more than two years.
Here is what Heyman had to say:
The Dodgers appear willing to meet or come close to superstar free agent Manny Ramirez's annual salary target but are strongly disinclined from acceding to his wish for a deal of five or six years, people familiar with the club's thinking tell SI.com.
One person who's spoken to Dodgers people suggested that the team is considering proposing a contract that may come close to matching Alex Rodriguez's record $27.5-million average annual salary but on a much shorter term, perhaps only two years. That person hinted he could see the Dodgers even exceeding A-Rod's salary, as long as the length of the deal was to their liking.
Exceeding A-Rod's salary!! Wow-I wonder if A-Rod has a clause allowing him to opt out of his contract if anyone surpasses his annual salary??
According to Heyman, competing teams consider the Dodgers the favorite to sign Manny. And Ned Colletti was impressed with Manny during his short stay in LA:
.......the Dodgers have only good memories after he lifted their franchise. Colletti agreed that Ramirez had a positive impact on several young Dodgers stars.
"He was positive in a lot of ways,'' Colletti said. "He's a great player. He knows what he's doing. He's very sharp.''
That's not the first time I have heard that he was good with the Dodgers young players. That has to have a lasting impression on Dodgers management after the clubhouse fiasco last September.
If LA does sign Manny, then I see McCourt going all George Steinbrenner on us and loosening the purse strings this offseason. It is assumed that LA will resign SS Rafael Furcal due to the mutual interest on both sides. The next question would be who will they sign/trade for as their front of the rotation starter? That's a question for another day.
Will Manny get A-Rod money on a short contract, or will he want a long-term contract?