I was sitting here thinking about writing an article about auction draft strategy, but that will have to wait. Initially there were reports from ESPN's Enrique Rojas that the Dodgers had signed Manny Ramirez.to a 2 year, $45 million contract. Well, that report proved to be false. So I decided to check Tony Jackson's blog. Of course, he reported the correct story, and here is his story:
Manny IS on his way to Los Angeles tonight, just as Enrique Rojas reported on ESPN. Manny IS willing to accept some form of what the Dodgers offered him last Wednesday, a two-year, $45 million deal with $25 million the first year, $20 million the second year and an opt-out. That offer IS back on the table, even though it has been taken off the table last week. But there is no actual agreement in place YET, because Dodgers officials want to meet with Manny face to face, presumably tomorrow morning, before making this thing happen. Given this player's history and the fact he didn't get anything close to what he thought he was going to get on the open market this winter, I believe they simply want to gauge how he is dealing with that fact emotionally. Once that happens, if everybody likes what they hear, this deal will get done.
This deal, if it turns out to be true, marks the end of the sopa opera between Scott Boras and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Over the past few weeks these two have questioned each other's integrity and used everything in their arsenal to raise the contract amount (Boras), and reduce the contract amount (McCourt). But in the end, they finished where they started, a 2 year $45 million deal for the future Hall-of-Famer.
I, as a Dodgers fan, couldn't be happier. I think makes a huge difference to the Dodgers lineup,resulting in more runs scored by the Dodgers, and they will need it, as the Dodgers rotation right now is average at best.
Here is the projected Dodgers lineup (again):
All they need is an ace starting pitcher lke a Roy Halladay or Roy Oswalt to be considered the favorites in the NL. It certainly isn't a stretch to think either, or both, of these pitchers will be available come June.
UPDATE (11:20AM)-Apparently the deal is done, per Tony Jackson:
The face-to-face meeting took place early this morning -- VERY early, apparently. There is now an agreement in principle on a two-year, $45 million contract, with the final hurdle of Manny passing a physical exam. Once that happens, he'll sign the contract and report to spring training, guessing he'll be here tomorrow morning. Ned Colletti and Joe Torre, who went to Los Angeles for the meeting with Manny and McCourt, are on their way back here to Glendale now.