Well, that was quick.
Less than 24 hours after receiving a one year/$25 million dollar offer from the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez and agent Scott Boras have turned down the Dodgers proposal.
This boggles my mind. Ramirez and Boras must truly believe that they will eventually have a better offer out there because it takes balls to turn down $25 million. Well, either balls or flat out stupidity. Take your pick.
I'm just not seeing a better contract coming Ramirez's way at this point. I thought the Dodgers offer was more than fair, but in the twisted and strange world of Scott Boras and Manny Ramirez, this contract was not enough.
So where should the Dodgers go from here? I think they have put their two best offers on the table for Ramirez and have wisely not gone above 2 years. The fact remains that Ramirez STILL wants much more than what the Dodgers are willing to give him and he does not seem willing to make a compromise. I'm not sure how much longer the Dodgers are willing to be hamstrung by Ramirez and Boras, but I would be awfully eager to move on right now if I was the Dodgers.
Luckily for them, there free agent market still plays very much in their favor. In most years, $25 million would not go nearly as far, but in this rough economy, the Dodgers clearly have the upper hand. There are so few teams who are looking to spend money right now, but a surplus of quality free agents, which means the Dodgers could get bargains on the best remaining free agents if they elect not to sign Ramirez.
Adam Dunn is still available. Bobby Abreu too. And don't forget about Orlando Hudson, who has had virtually no buzz this off season.
And if the Dodgers want to address the pitching side, they can make a play for Ben Sheets or Randy Wolf, depending on who they like/trust more.
It's not impossible to think that two or three of those free agents could be in Dodger Blue should the team elect to pass on Ramirez and his $20-$25 million per year demand.
If I'm Ned Colletti, I would look to add Dunn, Hudson, and Sheets; which would give the Dodgers a great group of talent and drastically improve their chances of winning the NL West. Dunn should be able to replicate Ramirez's power numbers and OBP, while Hudson would provide stability at second base and great clubhouse leader to boot. The wild card in this would of course be Sheets, who if healthy, would turn the Dodgers into a pennant contender, but there is of course no guarantee of that. I would give Sheets a one year deal packed with incentives and see if he takes it.
You can definitely make the case that the Dodgers would be building a strong team by adding three valuable pieces as opposed to just Ramirez. No free agent would bring the kind of buzz to LA that Ramirez could, but the product on the field might be better if the Dodgers move on.