October 25, 2014

Manny Rejects Dodgers Fourth Offer

This just in from Josh Rawitch over at the Dodgers.  You know it’s looking bad when the Dodgers go to the lengths of issuing a press release stating the rejection (in a letter!).  Love the McCourt quote mocking the other “serious offers.”

BORAS REJECTS DODGERS 

OFFER TO MANNY RAMIREZ

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers today received a letter from Scott Boras, the agent for Manny Ramirez, rejecting the offer that the club made yesterday.  This rejection is the fourth by the agent in the club’s attempts to sign Manny.

“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.”

A Theory on the Manny Negotiations

So I was thinking about yesterday’s “news” that a deal between the Dodgers and Manny Ramirez was imminent and could happen later this week.  What I found particularly interesting about the rumor was that it apparently had some weight to it, as the attached link to Bill Shaikin’s post at “The Fabulous Forum” on the LA Times’ site indicates.

Here’s my theory: the report was leaked by Boras’ team.  Think about it.  Negotiations seem to have been accelerating over the past few days between Boras and the Dodgers.  Boras is probably wondering if there are any teams that want one last shot at signing the best right-handed batter of the past 12 years, and what better way to find out the answer than to leak yesterday’s news?  If no teams comes forward, the deal could get done with the Dodgers by the end of the week.  If the Giants or another team enter the mix, watch out.

If you ask me, a two-year contract with an option for a third year at about $20-$25 million per year is totally acceptable for an aging, yet still incredibly productive, Manny Ramirez.  Now Ned just needs to bring the deal home.

The Chronicles of Manny, Chapter Five

So as fast as I could type the news of the Dodgers’ one-year, $25 million offer to Manny Ramirez, it was rejected by agent Scott Boras.

According to Dylan Hernandez at the Los Angeles Times, the club will still be negotiating with Ramirez and Boras (as they should be).  Both parties need each other here, and with the amount of salary coming off the books at the end of last season, the Dodgers have the cash to make a two to three-year offer to Manny that should appease both sides.  Anything longer than three years is foolhardy, and if that’s the case I would love to see the Dodgers turn their attention to Adam Dunn.

Now we wait and see what the next chapter in the “The Chronicles of Manny” have in store…

The Chronicles of Manny, Chapter Four

One year, $25 million.  That’s the latest offer that was received tonight, according to Dylan Hernandez.

It’s an interesting offer with Ned going high on salary, but super short on years.  I actually like this offer, primarily because it keeps Manny honest – if he accepts, he’ll have to play hard throughout the contract to prove to potential suitors next year that he’s worth the money and 4-5 years that Boras is asking for.  It’s also good for Manny, as if he feels the multi-year offers are too low he can save face by taking the Dodgers’ offer.  It’s not likely that other clubs can match or beat this, as I don’t think anyone else has the kind of cash on hand that the Dodgers do.

Now do I think he’ll actually take this deal?  Not anytime soon.  Manny isn’t known to be a fan of Spring Training, and any excuse to prolong this in the hopes of dragging in more offers seems somewhat likely.  This then begs the question of how long the Dodgers will wait for Manny, as they certainly don’t want to lose out on Bobby Abreu or Adam Dunn.

Only time will tell…

Jeff Kent Rides Off Into the Sunset – On His Own Terms

So today the long-expected news of Jeff Kent’s retirement came true.  And I’m a little sad about it.  Say what you want about Kent causing clubhouse friction at the end of the 2007 season (something he never really recovered from) the guy played stellar baseball for the Dodgers at a position that was a notorious weak spot before he arrived.  Listen to the names of the starting second basemen from 2000 to 2004: Mark Grudzielanek (2000-2002), Jolbert Cabrera (2003), Alex Cora(2004).  Say what you want, Kent was consistent – and in a good way.  The guy played hurt and left it all out on the field.  I really think it’s awful the way last season ended for Jeff with the whole Vin Scully thing and then subsequent shunning that resulted..a situation that was magnified by Jeff’s unique personality.

I looked back, and here’s what we said about Jeff Kent in December of 2007:

One signing that hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of publicity it deserves due in recent days is the return of Jeff Kent. This guy is a gamer, a future HOFer and exactly the type of player that the Dodgers need. He’s the linchpin of the infield and a fantastic role model for kids playing any sport. I think the friction with the Dodgers’ “kids” at the end of last year was definitely an issue, but the fact of the matter is that the Dodgers need someone who won’t take any crap and is willing to come out and hustle every day. Sure, Kent likes to be by himself in the clubhouse and isn’t one to socialize with his teammates, but in past radio interviews I’ve heard with him on KLAC-AM with Times columnist T.J. Simers,he’s always said it’s not because he’s anti-social, but that in order for him to be successful he needs to keep his game face on every single moment that he’s at the park. He’s afraid that if he lets his intensity level down before a game that it might carry over on to the field. Knowing that only makes me respect the guy more. He knows what works for him and he’s sticking with it. After all, he’s the all time leader in home runs for a second baseman and led the Dodgers with 20 HRs at the age of 39.

One last thought on Jeff: I really think the combination of Kent and Joe Torre will go a long way in establishing some much needed clubhouse chemistry and keeping the younger guys in check. At the very least, you know Jeff was psyched to hear about the Andruw Jones signing!

Ok, so we were a little off on the Andruw Jones front, but I’m looking forward  to hearing what T.J. has to say about Kent’s retirement.  The two genuinely seemed to get along and while the radio show wasn’t that great, Simers was able to get the best interviews I ever heard from Jeff Kent.  Can’t wait to hear what Kent has to say tomorrow at the retirement ceremony.

Jeff, congratulations on a fantastic career with the Dodgers and others.  We’ll miss your bat and we’ll see you in Cooperstown!